Philosophy of Engineering and Artifact
in the Digital Era

an exploratory workshop

2009 February 6-8
“Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava

Alexandre Monnin


I'm currently a PhD student in Philosophy at Paris I Panthéon - Sorbonne University (France). My thesis, which I begun at the very end of 2006, aims at emphasizing the links between computer ontologies and philosophical ones, and between ontologies themselves - of both kinds - and folksonomies (you can learn more about it on my academic webpage either in French or in English :

After studying philosophy of action and philosophy of mind with works dedicated to Elizabeth Anscombe’s approach to intentions and the Dennett-Chalmers’ debate about philosophical zombies, my main philosophical interest now resides in ontologies, philosophy of language
and the philosophy of technology. The current intellectual landscape offers many examples of such associations, particularly in the fields of
Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web. As a result of my work, I’ve found that ontologies, for example, can no longer be understood merely from a
theoretical viewpoint. In fact, they’ve become artifacts, industrialized
ones, and this evolution requires that we thoughtfully describe it and assess its numerous consequences. Such an evolution calls for a close
examination of the materiality of digital artifacts (including video
games) following the French tradition of “matiérismâ€, going from Gaston
Bachelard to Bruno Latour and Bernard Stielgler or Bruno Bachimont.

Since February of this year I also work as a "conservateur" (chie librarian) at the Urfist Paris - École nationale des Chartes
(, where I'm forming researchers, PhD
students and librarians in “Scientific and Technical Information”
There I can usefully employ my extended knowledge in Web 2.0, the Semantic
Web and XML technologies amongst other things. I've also been working previously in the field of Digital Humanities at the École nationale des Chartes, the most prestigious establishment in Auxiliary Sciences of History thanks to my background in this discipline. While I was there I did encode various medieval documents, including philosophical texts, in TEI/XML. Dealing with Digital Humanities like I did was tantamount to exploring another facet of my PhD work.

Finally, I'm currently writing on a book on folksonomies and tagging that I hope to finish soon. Wish me luck!

For more information about me, please follow this link: