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The Crisis of Presence in Contemporary Culture: Ethics, Privacy and Speech in Mediated Social Life

By Vincent Miller, SAGE, London, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN: 978-14739-06570

Through this book, the author gives us a critical and philosophical examination of three issues/problems emerging directly from the contemporary use of communications technology: online anti-social behaviour, the problem of privacy, and the problem of free speech online. These problems have at their root the issue of presence and are evoking something that the author calls a "crisis of presence"'. The main problem here, according to Vincent Miller, is a lack of awareness of our own and others' presence in the world through these technologies, and thus the inability to make proper judgements about the consequences of our social actions and ethical stances in online contexts. By focusing on the concept of presence, and the challenges that our changing presence poses to our ethics, privacy and public discourse, the author argues that the real task for networked humanity is the recognition that these problems are at least in part of a certain stance, taken to the world and enabled by technology. The solution, therefore, is not to focus exclusively on content and its regulation, as much as it is to examine the alienating aspects of the media itself by understanding and resisting the more destructive tendencies in technological ordering, metaphysical abstraction, disembodiment and mediation, which increasingly appear in our social encounters and presences.

For more information or to obtain the book, please visit https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/the-crisis-of-presence-in-contemporary-culture/book244328