Let's stipulate an expansive notion of 'technology' such that (a) linguistic, mathematical, and logical developments also count as 'technology' and, thus, (b) a lot of philosophical breakthroughs are preceded by technological ruptures. (Sometimes they redefine philosophy so much that we do not recognize the successor disciplines as "philosophy.") If so, is the web transforming or about to transform philosophical praxis? I use "praxis" to distinguish this question from the one about to what degree professional philosophy is being transformed by the web.
Let me first say what I do not mean with this question. The web *is* transforming philosophical scholarship by facilitating amazing storage & information retrieval (etc.) capacities. I used to spend huge amount of time in libraries (to look at old books and and to scan journals)--now I am genuinely surprised when I enter a library. There are regular on-line/skype seminars on papers, books, topics, etc. The web brings together distributed audiences previously unknown to each other. Blogs have created dedicated intellectual communities, and spawned philosophical movements and catapulted some echo-chambers to professional prominence. (We are probably living in a new golden age of philosophical correspondence--I bet Leibniz would have adored email.) Citation practices are being influenced by blog communities, phil papers, and google.scholar., etc. All of this is swell, but it does not challenge what we mean by "philosophy." (So here I am also ignoring all the exciting ways the web changes how we teach philosophy, and maybe I shouldn't.)
Will arguments and the nature of concepts or philosophical affects be the same in a digital world? Is the fact that marginal cost of an extra copy is near zero irrelevant to the new economy of philosophy? Are previously unconceivable philosophical experiences being created? (How wrong was Benjamin in thinking that mechanical replication changed art?)
Don't get me wrong: I am thrilled to participate in the revival of interest in the philosophical essay (between 700-1200 words). But basically it migrates an existing philosophical genre (our patron-saints are Bacon, Montaigne, Hume, maybe Borges for some) to the web.
Now, I suspect that those of us that need to find a job, or publish for tenure or grants can't really afford to be too creative, but maybe at the margins of the discipline or elsewhere folk are exploring a new kind of philosophy. I am also open to the suggestion that praxis is changing dramatically within the discipline, and I am just blind to it. (I doubt it, however--I am doing quite a bit of T&P refereeing.) As somebody who spends a good deal of his scholarly life studying folk who transformed philosophy outside universities (you know, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Berkeley) until Kant re-established the new normal, I am open to the idea that *professional* philosophers may not be the folk that will lead the way.
Readers suggestions/links/ideas to places where philosophical praxis is being challenged or transformed much welcomed.