Mehr Ansichten

The Computation of Bodily, Embodied, andVirtual Reality

Zurück zum Heft: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2020-1



This essay investigates the impact of the digital age on corporality as a constitutive condition of experience. Rather than just considering the multitude of phenomena at the surface of digitalization, the essay uncovers the conceptual development that underlies them. I apply Edmund Husserl’s concept of the “mathematization of nature” to digitalization, and in particular the digitization of data from experience. This leads to an explanation of some of the reasons for both the apparent and the factual loss of corporality. Building on ideas of G$nther Anders and Martin Heidegger, I then show how the use of humans as a source for data deepens the incorporation of the human body into the digital world. Yet, other recent developments of the digital age, such as “virtual reality” and other forms of “extended reality,” rediscover not only the human body but also corporality. I again make use of Husserl’s insights on digitization, this time inverting them to explain the computation of “extended reality.”