Taking Watsuji online: Betweenness and expression in online spaces

Continental Philosophy Review (1):1-23 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce the Japanese philosopher Tetsurō Watsuji’s phenomenology of aidagara (“betweenness”) and use his analysis in the contemporary context of online space. We argue that Watsuji develops a prescient analysis anticipating modern technologically-mediated forms of expression and engagement. More precisely, we show that instead of adopting a traditional phenomenological focus on face-to-face interaction, Watsuji argues that communication technologies — which now include Internet-enabled technologies and spaces — are expressive vehicles enabling new forms of emotional expression, shared experiences, and modes of betweenness that would be otherwise inaccessible. Using Watsuji’s phenomenological analysis, we argue that the Internet is not simply a sophisticated form of communication technology that expresses our subjective spatiality (although it is), but that it actually gives rise to new forms of subjective spatiality itself. We conclude with an exploration of how certain aspects of our online interconnections are hidden from lay users in ways that have significant political and ethical implications.

Similar books and articles

Watsuji’s Ethics of Technology in the Container Age.Thomas Taro Lennerfors - 2019 - In Thomas Taro Lennerfors & Kiyoshi Murata (eds.), Tetsugaku Companion to Japanese Ethics and Technology. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 59-74.
Watsuji, Intentionality, and Psychopathology.Joel Krueger - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (3):757-780.
Watsuji's Phenomenology of Embodiment and Social Space.Joel Krueger - 2013 - Philosophy East and West 63 (2):127-152.
Taking empathy online.Lucy Osler - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
The Phenomenology of Space in Writing Online.Max Van Manen & Catherine Adams - 2009 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (1):10-21.
A Moral Ground for Technology: Heidegger, Postphenomenology, and Watsuji.Yū Inutsuka - 2019 - In Thomas Taro Lennerfors & Kiyoshi Murata (eds.), Tetsugaku Companion to Japanese Ethics and Technology. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 41-57.
The Space of the Self.Erin McCarthy - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 15:26-32.
Watsuji Tetsuro's Rinrigaku: Ethics in Japan.Watsuji Tetsuro (ed.) - 1996 - State University of New York Press.
Watsuji’s topology of the self.David W. Johnson - 2016 - Asian Philosophy 26 (3):216-240.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-03-30

Downloads
491 (#38,965)

6 months
128 (#30,500)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Lucy Osler
Cardiff University
Joel Krueger
University of Exeter

Citations of this work

Communing with the Dead Online: Chatbots, Grief, and Continuing Bonds.Joel Krueger & Lucy Osler - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (9-10):222-252.
Expressive Avatars: Vitality in Virtual Worlds.David Ekdahl & Lucy Osler - 2023 - Philosophy and Technology 36 (2):1-28.
Social Doubt.Tom Roberts & Lucy Osler - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (1):1-18.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Affective affordances and psychopathology.Joel Krueger & Giovanna Colombetti - 2018 - Discipline Filosofiche 2 (18):221-247.
Taking empathy online.Lucy Osler - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

View all 28 references / Add more references