Digitization is transforming our world economically, culturally, and psychologically. The influx of new forms of communication, networking, and business opportunities, as well as new types of distraction, self-observation, and control into our societies represents an epochal challenge. Following Bernard Stiegler's concept of pharmacology, Felix Heidenreich and Florian Weber-Stein propose to view these new forms as digital pharmaka. Properly dosed, they can enable new self-relationships and forms of sociality; in the case of overdose, however, there is a risk of intoxication. In this essay, Felix Heidenreich, Florian Weber-Stein, and, in a detailed interview, Bernard Stiegler analyze this complex change in our world and develop new skills to use digital pharmaka.
Felix Heidenreich is a philosopher and political scientist teaching at Universität Stuttgart. Among his publications are textbooks on political theory and contributions on Foucault and Blumenberg. Florian Weber-Stein is a professor of political science and political education at Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg. His research interests include democratic theory and data literacy.