Media-Reality As Epiphenomenon Of Digital Technologies In Media-Philosophical Discourse


The relevance of understanding the phenomenon of media and the effects of the influence of media on various sociocultural practices and relevance as a methodological basis for research in various fields of public life is substantiated. It is argued that the significance of the media philosophical discourse is explained by a medial turn in socio-humanitarian and applied research and is not limited to individual discourses that themed the subject and methodology of their research in connection with the awareness of the epistemological and ontological role of media.In the media-and-philosophical discourse, an important problem is the justification of the ways of forming media reality that is safe for socialization. This requires the constructive use of digital technology to implementation of preventive functions for the development of media competencies; coordination of media-and-information and sociocultural functions based on the formation of personal media culture. The development of modern theoretical knowledge of media reality is presented on the basis of the analysis of the philosophical foundations of reflection, which are defined as intellectual-and-technical, “communicative” as virtual-and-network, and philosophical and cultural as media-cultural and media-worldview on the “post-industrial” stage measurement of this process. A special mission of the media reality concept has been explicated, which sets the humanistic perspective for the logical reconstruction of the cultural and spiritual integrity of the textual, intellectual-and-technical, information-and-network dimensions of the social being of modern human.

Keywords: Digital technologiesmedia cognitive practicesmedia philosophical reflectionmedia realitymediatization of life


In the XXI century, cognitive practice regarding the reflection of the phenomenon of “media” is institutionalized in a special branch of philosophy called neologism “media philosophy”. Covering many different types of “media” (speech, writing, print culture, electronic printing, etc.), this phenomenon is now understood far from exhaustive. This is evidenced by heated discussions about the sociocultural functional of the “media”, its multifaceted impact on the whole range of human biopsychosocial abilities, the role of the “media” in the centuries-old process of human development, not only as the main productive force of society, but also as the subject of all non-economic socio-humanitarian practices. The radical nature of technological innovations requires a significant radical transformation of philosophical tools, the formation of new methodological approaches, and interdisciplinary communication. Media technologies initiate the network logic of the transformation of the social system. The media technology paradigm of the modern state of civilization is based on media dependence. An important characteristic of such a paradigm is the convergence of modern technologies into a high-level integration system.

Problem Statement

The development of media that arise and develop as a result of the progress of scientific knowledge gives rise to various media technologies for transforming social reality in all its totality. What can be the long-term socio-and-humanitarian consequences of the practice of their use?

Research Questions

To find out what social and humanitarian problems can be used to use the media, and to determine the correlation between changes in human life and the formation of media reality as an epiphenomenon of digital technologies in media philosophical discourse.

Purpose of the Study

To determine the impact of modern media on the global socio-natural human environment in media reality.

Research Methods

An interdisciplinary approach allows a comprehensive analysis of the social and humanitarian functionality of the media with the involvement of scientific developments in the fields of philosophy, sociology, psychology, cybernetics, computer science and engineering. The problem of the formation of a new media reality is represented by the “global village”. The problem of substantiating the legitimacy of media philosophy has found its thorough comprehensive solution in the answers to the question “what is media philosophy?” (Wiesing, 2005). Aspects of the medial turn and conceptual problems arising from the use and dissemination of electronic and digital media are explored by S. Münker. The concept of virtual reality and its socio-humanitarian potential are explored in the writings of Beilin et al. (2018), Cheshko and Kuz (2016), Krämer (2016).

The development of convergent technologies and their impact on the social and natural environment are analyzed in the writings of Münker (2003), Savchuk (2020), Wiesing (2005).


The rapid introduction of new mediators in all spheres of life was reflected in a number of applied disciplines expanding the field of media research, however, the philosophical reflection on current medial processes is significantly late with the revision of the outdated paradigm of an isolated and non-anthropological world of media. “Medially-and-competent” sciences, especially applied engineering sciences, form a number of generalizations and concepts of a worldview and methodological nature (artificial intelligence, posthuman, etc.) that are comprehended in philosophy with a considerable delay (Booth, 2019).

Human interaction with modern media technologies has led to the blurring of subject-object separation in modern media reality. The history of media philosophical thought as an attempt of philosophical reflection of the media, according to Savchuk (2020), would simultaneously become the history of the whole philosophy, since media philosophy as a way of philosophizing is closely connected with the worldview, historical and social context. Philosophy, science, art, culture, although unconsciously, have always included the socio-humanitarian aspect of the media, therefore, an understanding of the role of the media should be sought in various areas of socio-cultural life. At the same time, as F. Hartmann notes, philosophy for a long time ignored the socio-humanitarian potential of the media even after the start of the technological revolution (as cited in Hartmann, 2000).

Electronic media, starting with the telegraph era, is represented by complex systems and devices, increasingly penetrating into all spheres of human life. It can be stated with confidence that the world in which modern man lives is formed as a result of the transformation of an industrial society into a digital media world. After the transition to the information society, that is, at the very moment when the world became unthinkable without the use of electronic media, the media philosophical approach becomes the main tool for an objective analysis of social transformations. The socio-humanitarian potential of the media can be traced in the fact that their distribution and use by a person determines and is able to change a person’s attitude to himself and to the world, transforming key philosophical and value foundations.

The media philosophical approach also provides for taking into account the principles of the functioning of the mediator, since the technological implementation of its work determines the boundaries and potential ways of its influence on the social environment (Beilin, 2017). Although the media problem has always been present in socio-humanitarian discourse, it is precisely starting from the medial turn that a number of philosophical practices for understanding the media begin to aspire to unite in an independent branch of philosophy.

Thus, the history of the development of the media philosophical approach is seen in the formation of the role of the media philosophical discourse regarding the comprehension of the social humanitarian function of the media. The current stage of development of philosophical understanding of media philosophy is represented by a number of conflicting theories about the role of media in human life.

In the concept of “media philosophy” an approach is presented to the role of the media as a universal mediator, whose social humanitarian functions are reflected in the genesis of media philosophical thought. Mersch et al. (2019), seeing in art the “motor of media reflection”, believes that media philosophical opinion is formed in the problem field of art.

Confirmation of the integration of various scientific approaches in the media philosophical discourse is the development of a tendency to form an interdisciplinary media philosophical perspective (Savchuk, 2020). The interdisciplinary interest in the study of the media problem field is also explained by the fact that media have the character of a sociocultural phenomenon.

According to Münker (2003), “the matter of media philosophy is a reflection of conceptual problems arising from the processing and use of electronic and digital media” (p. 20). Due to the growth of socio-humanitarian role of modern media, Münker (2003) argues that the whole life world of modern man is characterized by a connection with electronic and digital media, and such a scientific discipline as media philosophy becomes necessary. Modern socio-humanitarian discourses are formed with the awareness of the consequences of mediating public life, because modern media are changing the heuristic models of modern science (Connery, 2015).

The second position, according to Wiesing (2005), “represents media philosophy as a work with the concept of media” (para. 3). Representatives of this approach talk about the importance of the concept of media, but do not determine the growth of their socio-humanitarian potential as a result of the development of media technologies.

Focusing on the search for a universal media model leads to the fact that the specifics of modern media remain out of sight, that modern media are significantly different from the media of previous eras, because they are characterized by the ability to quickly and totally penetrate all spheres of human life, more activity and autonomy (Beilin et al., 2018).

Media philosophy can also be considered as a reflection on the consequences of a medial turn (Wiesing, 2005). Krämer (2016) defines by media the nature of a universal mediator that constitutes our perception, cognition and communication. Undoubtedly, the media philosophical discourse acts as a leader in understanding the consequences of a medial turn. However, the medial turn as a kind of generalized concept of awareness of the penetration of media technologies into all spheres of public life should include the constant rapid transformation of both modern media and the consequences of their impact on human life (Khorolsky & Kozhemyakin, 2019).

To understand the nature of media, for a comprehensive assessment of their socio-humanitarian potential, it is necessary to operate an integrated system of media knowledge in various fields of science. When analyzing the media, the features of their functioning and use must also be taken into account. Any meaningful study of the phenomenon of media is already interdisciplinary, since the media everywhere surround a person and penetrate into all areas of anthropological activity (McCarthy, 2019).

The ubiquity of the media and their universality as an intermediary are considered in the concept of a medial turn. The “genetic” continuity of the methodological principles of media philosophy indicates the evolutionary nature of reflection over the media in the development of philosophical discourse. The media-philosophical approach is developed and enriched through participation in various areas of philosophical discourse. It is possible to apply structuralist approaches and deconstruction in the media philosophical discourse, since the opposition of the figure and content, instrumental and anthropological meanings establishes dispositions. The modern metaphorics of the physical and instrumental are not deconstructed by modern media philosophy.

Modern media are increasingly involved in all aspects of human reality, often leading to the dominance of the media over the real, while traditional philosophical reflection approaches to understanding this range of problems are not enough. The media philosophical approach should take into account the presence of media in the research tool itself, since the philosophy of the language cannot reveal the language itself, and the philosophy of the media cannot detect the media (Mersch et al., 2019).

The role of the media philosophical approach is growing significantly due to the complexity of identifying the consequences of the spread of modern media, whose work is becoming less noticeable. The development of media philosophy as an independent philosophical industry provides for the formation of the empirical and reflective language of media philosophy, the language of research analytics. His need is not manifested when a person uses the media for communication and work without noticing them, but when he understands the need to track the traces of his influence on himself and society (Cheshko & Kuz, 2016; Gazniuk & Semenova, 2017). The language of media philosophy is formed when a person talks about how the media determines perception and translates various media concepts into human life. The peculiarity of the approach of the media philosopher is manifested in a complex way: to describe the reality of the media as they are in themselves (Savchuk, 2020), to reveal their functionality, to predict the socio-humanitarian consequences of media development. The language of media philosophy as a science is characterized by no less accuracy than the language of any other discipline. The arbitrariness of the choice of tools and research methodology, polysemantism of fundamental concepts indicate the flexibility of the formation of media philosophy in the context of the interdisciplinary nature of research on its problem field. The language of media philosophy is open to the standards of the natural sciences, the philosophy of science and technology, and therefore the language of philosophy appears as an interdisciplinary way of understanding the media (Aleksandrov & Levitskaya, 2018; Weber, 2015). Only through a combination of methods and tools from different areas of socio-humanities does it appear possible to unleash the socio-humanitarian potential of the media. At the same time, the true essence of media is not revealed in technologies of mass replication of information and not in technologies due to which media artefacts arise and functions, but in what makes the media not only an object, but also that conveys the meaning of interaction.

The researchers involved in media issues give them a universal fundamental status of omnipresence, which makes it difficult to determine the role and place of the media in public life.


The need for the formation of a media philosophical approach is due to the aggravation of the problem of the socio-humanitarian functionality of modern media and the need to understand the consequences of the influence of media technologies on a person and society, as evidenced by the transformations taking place with people and society due to the wide distribution of modern media. In such conditions, the media philosophical approach also involves solving the problem of forecasting the socio-humanitarian consequences of the further development of media technologies. Philosophical reflection is characterized by increasing universal connectedness, pan-communication, techno-socio-cultural blurring of the boundaries between digital and “material” being, when artefacts gain memory, the environment – the ability to feel, and matter becomes programmable. Media technologies penetrate more and more into all spheres of human life, becoming its media expansion, while artificial intelligent systems play the role of a leading intermediary between different environments, realizing social and natural interaction in an intelligent environment. The cluster of cognitive media technologies significantly transforms the content and nature of scientific knowledge, forms new scientific methods and principles, changes approaches to working with information and data, understanding the problem of the development of human intelligence, affects the human worldview, thus transforming the entire infrastructure of science. The entire basis of science, all its structural apparatus is enriched with cognitive media technologies, a media-cognitive infrastructure is being formed – a set of tools, industries and structures integrated with cognitive media tools.


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Beilin, M., Gnatenko, E., Zheltoborodov, A., Lysenko, A., & Pomazun, O. (2021). Media-Reality As Epiphenomenon Of Digital Technologies In Media-Philosophical Discourse. In E. V. Toropova, E. F. Zhukova, S. A. Malenko, T. L. Kaminskaya, N. V. Salonikov, V. I. Makarov, A. V. Batulina, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, & A. M. Grinev (Eds.), Man, Society, Communication, vol 108. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 569-575). European Publisher.