The design philosophy shares something with the recently popular "REpresentational State Transfer" style of web services. They each chose one unifying metaphor and a minimal interface: either everything is a file and accessed through file system calls, or everything is a resource and accessed through HTTP methods on a URL.
That might be a naive simplification* but other have observed the same:
* It's only one aspect of the design and, on the other hand, there's all kinds of caching in the web and URIs if not URLs are meant to form a global namespace that all users share.
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