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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2015

The Onlife Manifesto

Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era


  • Open Access: this content is freely downloadable as an eBook!

  • Result of “the Onlife Initiative,” a one-year project funded by the European Commission to study the deployment of ICTs and its effects on the human condition

  • Inspires reflection on the ways in which a hyperconnected world forces the rethinking of the conceptual frameworks on which policies are built

  • Includes supplementary material:

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  • ISBN: 978-3-319-04092-9
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Table of contents (24 chapters)

  1. Identity, Selfhood and Attention

    1. Towards a Grey Ecology

      • Stefana Broadbent, Claire Lobet-Maris
      Pages 111-124Open Access
  2. Complexity, Responsibility and Governance

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 143-143
    2. Distributed Epistemic Responsibility in a Hyperconnected Era

      • Judith Simon
      Pages 145-159Open Access
  3. The Public Sphere in a Computational Era

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 179-179
    2. The Public(s) Onlife

      • Mireille Hildebrandt
      Pages 181-193Open Access
    3. Towards an Online Bill of Rights

      • Sarah Oates
      Pages 229-243Open Access
    4. On Tolerance and Fictitious Publics

      • May Thorseth
      Pages 245-258Open Access
  4. The Onlife Initiative—Conclusion

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 259-259
    2. The Onlife Initiative—Conclusion

      • The Onlife Initiative
      Pages 261-262Open Access
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 263-264

About this book

What is the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the human condition? In order to address this question, in 2012 the European Commission organized a research project entitled The Onlife Initiative: concept reengineering for rethinking societal concerns in the digital transition. This volume collects the work of the Onlife Initiative. It explores how the development and widespread use of ICTs have a radical impact on the human condition.

ICTs are not mere tools but rather social forces that are increasingly affecting our self-conception (who we are), our mutual interactions (how we socialise); our conception of reality (our metaphysics); and our interactions with reality (our agency). In each case, ICTs have a huge ethical, legal, and political significance, yet one with which we have begun to come to terms only recently.

The impact exercised by ICTs is due to at least four major transformations: the blurring of the distinction between reality and virtuality; the blurring of the distinction between human, machine and nature; the reversal from information scarcity to information abundance; and the shift from the primacy of stand-alone things, properties, and binary relations, to the primacy of interactions, processes and networks.

Such transformations are testing the foundations of our conceptual frameworks. Our current conceptual toolbox is no longer fitted to address new ICT-related challenges. This is not only a problem in itself. It is also a risk, because the lack of a clear understanding of our present time may easily lead to negative projections about the future. The goal of The Manifesto, and of the whole book that contextualises, is therefore that of contributing to the update of our philosophy. It is a constructive goal. The book is meant to be a positive contribution to rethinking the philosophy on which policies are built in a hyperconnected world, so that we may have a better chance of understanding our ICT-related problems and solving them satisfactorily.

The Manifesto launches an open debate on the impacts of ICTs on public spaces, politics and societal expectations toward policymaking in the Digital Agenda for Europe’s remit. More broadly, it helps start a reflection on the way in which a hyperconnected world calls for rethinking the referential frameworks on which policies are built.


  • The Onlife Initiative
  • complexity, responsibility and governance
  • digital revolution
  • human condition
  • hyperconnected
  • information revolution
  • information society
  • infosphere
  • media usage and the future of democracy
  • the public sphere in a computational era



Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

    Luciano Floridi

About the editor

Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute, and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford.

His research areas are the philosophy of information, information/computer ethics, philosophy of technology, epistemology, and philosophy of logic. For his work Floridi has received various recognitions including the APA's Barwise Prize, the IACAP's Covey Award, and the INSEIT's Weizenbaum Award. He is the first philosopher to have been awarded the Gauss Professorship by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences. He is an AISB and BCS Fellow, and a Member of the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences. He was Chairman of EU Commission's 'Onlife' research group and UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics at the University of Hertfordshire.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-04092-9
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Free shipping worldwide
    See shipping information.
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout