The ontological screening of contemporary life: a phenomenological analysis of screens

Lucas D. Introna*, Fernando M. Ilharco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we attempt to show how phenomenology, in a traditional methodological form, can provide an interesting and novel basis for thinking about screens in a world where screens now pervade a great many aspects of human experience. In our analysis, we aim to give a phenomenological account of screen(ing), that is, of its fundamental and foundational meaning. In doing the phenomenological analysis, we ground our argument on the ontology of Heidegger's Being and Time. In doing this, we claim that the screen will only show itself, as that which it is, as a screen in-the-world, where screens already are or have their being 'as screens' for this and that purpose, activity or work. We claim, and aim to show, that our analysis provides many insights about the meaning of screens that would be difficult to gain through any other method of investigation. We also argue and show that, although our method is not empirical, its results have important implications for the empirical world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


  • Heidegger
  • Information technology
  • Interpretive research
  • Media
  • Phenomenology
  • Screens


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