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Essays in Philosophy

Volume 6, Issue 1, January 2005
The Philosophy of Technology

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Displaying: 1-20 of 33 documents


editor’s introduction
1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton

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essays
2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Steven Benko

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As long as technology has been interpreted as an expression of practical reasoning and an effort to alter the conditions of human existence, ethical language has been used to interpret and critique technology’s meaning. When this happens technology is more than implements that are expressions of human intelligence and used towards practical ends in the natural world.1 As Frederick Ferre points out, technology is always about knowledge and values—what people want and what they want to avoid—and to the extent that technology increases power, one has to ask whether technology and/or the use towards which it is put is ethical.2 The ethicality of technology is based on whether that technology threatens or enhances the good for human beings. Therefore, any understanding of technology is never removed from ethics. Beyond the ethical evaluation of technology, technology is critiqued in light of whether it enhances or diminishes what it means to be human.
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3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Christine James

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For a philosopher, the history of sonar technology is fascinating. During the first and second World Wars, sonar technology was primarily associated with activity on the part of the sonar technicians and researchers. Usually this activity is concerned with creation of sound waves under water, as in the classic “ping and echo”. The last fifteen years have seen a shift toward passive, ambient noise “acoustic daylight imaging” sonar. Along with this shift a new relationship has begun between sonar technicians and environmental ethics.
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4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ana Cuevas

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In this paper, the different theories about science and technology relationships are analyzed. All of them have some virtues, but also one main defect: these theories do not take into account other well-founded possible relationships. The origin of this problem is the narrow view about science and technology. In this paper another characterization about technology based on Ronald Giere’s perspective is suggested. In the light of this new description, six different relationships between science and technology arise. Some of these relations had been explained in the before analyzed theories, but others emerge from the new portrayal.
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5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James Farris

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6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Stefano Franchi

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Research in Artificial Intelligence has always had a very strong relationship with games and game-playing, and especially with chess. Workers in AI have always denied that this interest was more than purely accidental. Parlor games, they claimed, became a favorite topic of interest because they provided the ideal test case for any simulation of intelligence. Chess is the Drosophila of AI, it was said, with reference to the fruit-fly whose fast reproductive cycle made it into a favorite test bed for genetic theories for almost a century. In this paper I will try to show Artificial Intelligence’s relationship to games is quite different from what this analogy suggests. In fact, I will argue that AI is, at core, a theory of games and a theory of subjectivity as game-playing.
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7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ronald Godzinski Jr.

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8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
John Scott Gray

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9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Frances Latchford

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Here lies the real problem of moral knowledge that occupies Aristotle in his ethics. For we find action governed by knowledge in an exemplary form where the Greeks speak of techne. This is the skill, the knowledge of the craftsman who knows how to make some specific thing. The question is whether moral knowledge is knowledge of this kind. This would mean that it was knowledge of how to make oneself. Does man learn to make himself what he ought to be, in the same way that the craftsman learns to make things according to his plan and will.
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10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Keekok Lee

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It is sometimes remarked that while the preoccupation with the history of technology is a mature and well-established discipline, the preoccupation with the philosophy of technology is at best recent, and at worst considered as marginal in academic terms. In contrast, its relative, the philosophy of science is eminently respectable and unquestioningly accepted by the philosophical community.This paper, first, briefly sets out the historical relationship between science and technology in the West. Against such a context, it then looks at the epistemological values and goals embedded respectively in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of technology, to consider their overlap as well as their differences. It uses the study of genetics, its two revolutions in the twentieth century – classical Mendelian genetics and DNA molecular genetics – as an example to demonstrate these points of similarities and differences, thereby also establishing that the philosophy of technology is indeed a serious preoccupation.
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11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
David Macauley

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This paper examines some of the key ways in which water is mediated by technology and human artifacts. I show how the modes in which we conceive and experience this vital fluid are affected deeply by the techniques and instruments we use to interact with it. I argue that a notion of the domestication of water enables us to better grasp our relations with the environment given that vast volumes of water are now neither completely natural nor artificial in the conventional senses of the terms. Instead, water is often filtered through an expansive technological network that not merely changes its flows and phenomenal forms but greatly alters or multiplies its meanings. As examples of this process, I investigate the practical engagement with water by the first Western philosopher; the construction of several large hydrological projects; efforts at river management in the aesthetic landscape; and the emergence of bottled water.
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12. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Saskia Nagel, Nicolas Neubauer

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Progress in Neuroscience advances rapidly and promises to change some of the basic concepts we have about ourselves. The field of Neuroethics is concerned with the resulting ethical implications. In this paper, we propose a framework to systematize the questions and positions in this context. We start with the discussion of three concrete cases around the topics of treatment/enhancement, personhood and privacy. For each case, we get a set of axes along which standpoints may vary. Finally, we generalize the particular axes of each case and arrive at a three-dimensional coordinate system spanned by the axes of “Liberty of Denial”, “Liberty of Use” and “Scepticism”. With this, we hope to provide a common language simplifying interdisciplinary dialogue and communication with the public.
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13. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Mason Richey

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14. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
M. Scott Ruse

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Philosophy of technology is gaining recognition as an important field of philosophical scrutiny. This essay addresses the import of philosophy of technology in two ways. First, it seeks elucidate the place of technology within ontology, epistemology, and social/political philosophy. I argue technology inhabits an essential place in these fields. The philosophy of Henri Bergson plays a central role in this section. Second, I discuss how modern technology, its further development, and its inter-cultural transfer constitute a drive toward a global “hegemony of technology”. The crux of the argument is that the technological impulse within humanity insinuates itself into nearly every aspect of human existence. The structures of the state, the economy, and culture, are each framed by this impulse. In the final analysis, it is argued that only a thorough examination of the intimate connection between humanity and technology can lay the foundation for a comprehensive philosophy of human existence.
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15. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Humberto Ortega Villasenor, Genaro Quinones Trujillo

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Threatened aboriginal cultures provide valuable criteria for fruitful criticism of the dominant Western cultural paradigm and perceptual model, which many take for granted as the inevitable path for humankind to follow. However, this Western model has proven itself to be imprecise and limiting. It obscures fundamental aspects of human nature, such as the mythical, religious dimension, and communication with the Cosmos. Modern technology, high-speed communication and mass media affect our ability to perceive reality and respond to it. Non-Western worldviews could help us to regain meaningful communication with Nature and to learn new ways of perceiving our world.
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book reviews
16. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton

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17. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
J. M. Fritzman

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18. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Gregory D. Gilson

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19. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Benjamin A. Gorman

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20. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Brian Gregor

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