What Kind of Space is Cyberspace?

Rebecca Bryant
ISSN 1393-614X, Minerva – An Internet Journal of Philosophy 5 (2001): 138–155.

With the advent and growth of electronic communication, the word “cyberspace” has entered into everyday parlance. But what does this word signify? I begin by sketching an equivalence between physical space and cyberspace, showing that they share the concepts of place, distance, size and route in common. With this mutual framework in place, I go on to examine various theories—substantival, relational, Einsteinian and Kantian—concerning the nature of physical space. We see that, while cyberspace shares some of the properties of physical space isolated by each of these theories, still it cannot be subsumed under any one theory. We also see that cyberspace exhibits several novel properties, projecting it far beyond the scope of any existing theory and setting it apart as an exciting new spatial medium.

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