The Informational Construction of the Self
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The information revolution engendered by the evolution of digital ICTs in our current information societies confronts us with a specific and peculiar problem: how to conceive of our personal identity as it is constructed in the information age. First and foremost, this presupposes that personal identity is constructed. The self (or personal identity) is not a fixed, built-in entity to which one can gain immediate access with no regard to context or purpose. Access to the self (or self-knowledge) is constantly mediated, context-dependent and goal-oriented. In this perspective, the self is constructed through the progressive encapsulation of data and their transformation into meaningful information. Personal identity may therefore be described as the sum of information experienced by an epistemic agent at a given level of abstraction. This implies that the informational construction of the self has to do with the human faculty of imbuing with meaning a reality fashioned from the constraining affordances of data that concern us. This process of the semanticization of reality is not merely idealistic; it is already part of our adaptation to the informational environment.
KeywordsInformatization Construction Epistemic Agent Personal Identity Florida 2002b Infosphere
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