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Evaluating the Cultural Quality of New Media (NWO-VICI)

Evaluating the Cultural Quality of New Media (NWO-VICI)

Towards an Integrated Philosophy of Human-Media Relations

A large, high-profile international research project at the intersection of ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of information technology, and new media studies. The project is funded by a Vici grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Vici grants are grants for large, innovative research projects led by outstanding senior researchers. The project will run from August 2006 to August 2011.

Programme leader

prof.dr. Philip Brey

Duration: August 2006 – August 2011


New media have shaped modern culture, by affecting the way people behave, communicate, learn, and conceive of themselves and their world. The cultural impact of new media has become a major topic of academic study. An increasing number of studies is critical and normative, and assesses the goodness or badness of aspects and implications of new media culture. These implications have also become a hot topic in popular discussions, in which new media like the Internet, video games, and mobile telephones are criticized for their effects on social relations, values, institutions, and everyday life. Unfortunately, existing discussions, including scholarly ones, are often shallow, assigning labels like "good," "bad," "harmful" or "beneficial" with little argument or proof, and appealing to abstract values that are no further explicated or defended. A thorough appraisal of new media culture is made difficult by the uniqueness of many of its implications, and existing normative vocabularies, including those of ethics, political theory, aesthetics and epistemology, seem to fall short.

The foremost aim of this project is to develop a framework for a better normative analysis of new media culture that focuses on its implications for the good life and the good of society. It will use recent work in philosophy and science and technology studies to develop an analytical framework for the investigation of such implications relative to different ideals. Additionally, it will perform analyses of key implications of new media technology for the quality of life and society, and will include projects on the value of digital information, the implications of cyberspace and virtualization, the impact of computer mediation on human practice, and the positions of major political and cultural ideologies regarding the relation between new media, the quality of life and the quality of society.


  • Prof.dr. Philip Brey
  • Dr. Adam Briggle
  • Dr. Edward Spence
  • Dr. Omar Rosas
  • Johnny Søraker, MA
  • Pak Hong Wong, MA