Inhabiting Digital Worlds

Place, Nearness, Distance


  • Dr. Axel O. Karamercan Independent postdoctoral scholar



The significance of notions such as digital worlds and spaces remains vague despite their common use in digital humanities, and the extent to which these are bound up with our relation to place and the world is often disregarded. The aim of this article is to clarify the philosophical underpinnings of these concepts, identify the problematic aspects of our relation to digital technologies, and explore the possibility of developing a topological reflection on our being in digital environments. In drawing from the 20th-century German thinker Martin Heidegger’s philosophy of place and technology, the article problematizes the modern conception of the world as a mere spatial network and outlines the phenomenological boundaries of digital spaces. By giving particular attention to explaining the ontological and hermeneutic meaning of the notion of distance, the article elucidates the interplay between nearness and remoteness and arrives at three correlated meanings of distance.


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Author Biography

Dr. Axel O. Karamercan, Independent postdoctoral scholar

Axel Onur Karamercan completed his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia. He spent research visits at the University of Crete in Greece (Philosophy) and the University at Buffalo, SUNY (Comparative Literature) in United States. He primarily specialises in Heidegger’s thought of place, language, and technology, with research interests in the East-West dialogue, philosophy of education and digital humanities. His publications appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (Oxford University Press), The Journal of East Asian Philosophy(Springer), Educational Philosophy and Theory (Taylor & Francis). He is currently residing in Paris as an independent postdoctoral scholar






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