About Us

Welcome to the AIS Special Interest Group on Philosophy in Information Systems (SIGPhil)

Our mission is:

  • To provide a focal point for the debate of philosophical issues in IS research that currently is dispersed over many conference proceedings, journals and books
  • To strengthen the exchange of ideas and community ties with other disciplines, especially the human, cultural and social sciences, that seek to improve research and the application of research results by drawing on philosophical literature

As Dilthey reminds us, the ancient Greeks once remarked that philosophy is not wisdom, it’s the love of wisdom. This quest for truth for its own sake is possible only when one travels outside one’s area of expertise, to see the world (theōriēs heineken) from a certain distance in order to gain universal wisdom or theoretical knowledge (Herodotus). As the anthropologist James Clifford observes: “Theory is a product of displacement, comparison, a certain distance. To theorize, one leaves home.” The SIGPhilosophy provides such a space, and seeks to develop the community of kindred spirits who share their insights in reviving the critical consciousness that never accepts anything as given, who wish to join the endeavor towards valid knowledge and embrace infinite possibilities.

There is a need for a focal point for the debate on philosophical issues in IS research. In the past, this work was dispersed over various conferences and journals, efforts by IFIP 8.1, 8.2 and the ISWorld website on research. SIGPhil was established in 2002 during ICIS at Barcelona. We aim to gather the brightest minds in IS with the common goal of improving IS research by drawing on philosophical literature and strengthening the IS field’s ties with other disciplines.