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Displaying: 1-5 of 5 documents


1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Gili Yaron, Guy Widdershoven, Jenny Slatman, Recovering a "Disfigured" Face: Cosmesis in the Everyday Use of Facial Prostheses
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Prosthetic devices that replace an absent body part are generally considered to be either cosmetic or functional. Functional prostheses aim to restore (some degree of) lost physical functioning. Cosmetic prostheses attempt to restore a “normal” appearance to bodies that lack (one or more) limbs by emulating the absent body part’s looks. In this article, we investigate how cosmetic prostheses establish a normal appearance by drawing on the stories of the users of a specific type of artificial limb: the facial prosthesis. Given that prostheses are first and foremost devices worn upon the body, such an analysis requires an understanding of the ways in which bodies and technologies interact. We thus interpret users’ stories by critically engaging with the work of disability researcher and Actor-Network theorist Myriam Winance, as well as with the postphenomenological scholarship of Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek. Using this framework, we explore users’ attempts to achieve a proper fit between their faces and their prostheses, the technological transparency such a fit enables, and the ways in which transparency mediates users’ everyday exchanges with others. We conclude that a normal appearance, when it is achieved by means of prosthetics, enables the device’s user to navigate a precarious social environment as they encounter and interact with others in public.
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Hub Zwart, “Extimate” Technologies and Techno-Cultural Discontent: A Lacanian Analysis of Pervasive Gadgets
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According to a chorus of authors, the human life-world is currently invaded by an avalanche of high-tech devices referred to as “emerging,” ”intimate,” or ”NBIC” technologies: a new type of contrivances or gadgets designed to optimize cognitive or sensory performance and / or to enable mood management. Rather than manipulating objects in the outside world, they are designed to influence human bodies and brains more directly, and on a molecular scale. In this paper, these devices will be framed as ‘extimate’ technologies (both intimate and external; both embedded and foreign; both life-enhancing and intrusive), a concept borrowed from Jacques Lacan. Although Lacan is not commonly regarded as a philosopher of technology, the dialectical relationship between human desire and technological artefacts runs as an important thread through his work. Moreover, he was remarkably prescient concerning the blending of life science and computer science, which is such a distinctive feature of the current techno-scientific turn. Building on a series of Lacanian concepts, my aim is to develop a psychoanalytical diagnostic of the technological present. Finally, I will indicate how such an analysis may inform our understanding of human life and embodiment as such.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Christopher Ryan Maboloc, Social Transformation and Online Technology: Situating Herbert Marcuse in the Internet Age
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The Internet age has seen the influential rise of social media. Consumer culture is tied to this modern phenomenon. This paper begins with an exposition of Herbert Marcuse’s grounding in phenomenology and his subsequent critique of Heidegger’s apolitical Dasein. In explicating Marcuse’s critical theory of technology, this paper will retrace Hegel’s influence on Marcuse in the idea of the dialectic. The dialectic is an integral aspect of social transformation. While modern technology may be value-neutral, it is argued herein that the lack of depth in social media provokes thought and invites critical dissent. Marcuse believes in the capacity of modern tools to effect social reform through adaptation. But emerging pathologies from online technology also have pressing challenges. For instance, social media makes manifest a dominant order that can be manipulative. It can be said that particular interests, notably from business and capitalists, shape the type of consumer culture that online technology promotes. In advancing Marcuse’s relevance in today’s Internet age, the paper will explore how social media as a platform can truly liberate the individual from the ills that consumerism peddles online.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Timothy Colburn, Gary Shute, Type and Metaphor for Computer Programmers
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The duality of computer programs is characterized, on the one hand, by their physical implementations on physical devices, and, on the other, by the conceptual implementations in programmers’ minds of the objects making up the computational processes they conceive. We contend that central to programmers’ conceptual implementations are (i) the concept of type, at both the programming and the design level, and (ii) metaphors created to facilitate these implementations.
book review
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Alberto Romele, Entangled in Digital Media: Review of Digital Media: Human-Technology Connection, by Stacey O’Neal Irwin
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