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Displaying: 1-20 of 21 documents


1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Christine Boshuijzen-van Burken Beyond Technological Mediation: A Normative Practice Approach
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Several philosophers of technology have argued that technology mediates human actions. For example, in the branch of post-phenomenology, authors such as Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek have described the mediating aspects of technology in terms of morality of technology (more prominent in Verbeek) as well as in the sense that technology changes our perception of ourselves and the world (more prominent in Ihde). In this article, different existing types of mediation are presented, critiqued, and enriched. The four types are illustrated by referring to military high-tech environments with a focus on visual data and imaging technologies. These technologies can mediate actions (1) by inviting certain behavior, (2) through amplification and reduction, (3) through built-in norms, and (4) through interpretation. The four types of mediation mainly focus on the technology or technological artifact itself. What these approaches fail to grasp, however, is the specific user practices in which most technologies function. In this article, it is argued that to understand the mediating aspects of technology more fully, attention should be paid to the specific user context in which the technology functions. Therefore, an enriched understanding of the four types of mediation of technology is proposed by taking the lens of normative practices and analyzing the different types of mediation through this lens. The Kunduz airstrike incident, which took place in 2009 in Afghanistan, is a case in which a visual data sharing device called Rover played a prominent role. This case is used in this article to illustrate how technology mediates human actions in military practice.
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Chrysanthos Voutounos, Andreas Lanitis A Cultural Semiotic Aesthetic Approach for a Virtual Heritage Project: Part A—The Semiotic Foundations of the Approach
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This paper presents an integrated framework applied towards the design and evaluation of a virtual museum of Byzantine art that combines the theorized fields of semiotics, virtual heritage (VH), and Byzantine art. A devised semiotic model, the case study semiosphere, synthesizes important principles from the theoretical background justifying the overall design and evaluation methodology. The approach presented has theoretical extensions to the understanding of the role technology plays in promoting a consummatory aesthetic experience for Byzantine art in virtual environments, complementing the experience received from traditional Byzantine art media. Part A of the work presents the development of the semiotic foundation of the study prior to presenting the applied potential of the approach in design and evaluation of VH for Byzantine art, which appears in Part B. The final task of the proposed approach aims to support a meaningful interpretation, assisting in the promotion of the significance (value) of the virtual museum to potential interpreters/visitors.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Daniel Susser Information Privacy and Social Self-Authorship
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The dominant approach in privacy theory defines information privacy as some form of control over personal information. In this essay, I argue that the control approach is mistaken, but for different reasons than those offered by its other critics. I claim that information privacy involves the drawing of epistemic boundaries—boundaries between what others should and shouldn’t know about us. While controlling what information others have about us is one strategy we use to draw such boundaries, it is not the only one. We conceal information about ourselves and we reveal it. And since the meaning of information is not self-evident, we also work to shape how others contextualize and interpret the information that they have about us. Information privacy is thus about more than controlling information; it involves the constant work of producing and managing public identities, what I call “social self-authorship.” In the second part of the essay, I argue that thinking about information privacy in these terms reveals threats to privacy that the control approach neglects. Namely, information technology makes social self-authorship invisible and unnecessary by making it difficult for us to know when others are forming impressions about us and by providing others with tools for making assumptions about who we are which obviate the need for our involvement in the process.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Stevens F. Wandmacher The Bright Line of Ethical Agency
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In his article The Nature, Importance, and Difficulty of Machine Ethics, James H. Moor distinguishes two lines of argument for those who wish to draw a “bright line” between full ethical agents, such as human beings, and “weaker” ethical agents, such as machines whose actions have significant moral ramifications. The first line of argument is that only full ethical agents are agents at all. The second is that no machine could have the presumed features necessary for ethical agency. This paper shows why Moor is mistaken in his refutation of the first line of argument; it also makes a positive case that “weaker” ethical agents are not agents at all. This positive case, however, allows Moor’s rejection of the second line of argument to stand: allowing that there could be moral machines, but that these machines would have to be full moral agents and not merely something that models moral behavior or can be used in morally charged ways.
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Maja Hojer Bruun The Importance of Cultural Learning Processes for the Study of Technology
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6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Robert Rosenberger Ihde and Husserl: A Symposium on Don Ihde's Husserl's Missing Technologies
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7. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Shannon Vallor Ihde, Technoscience, and the Resilience of Phenomenology
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My review of Don Ihde’s new book, Husserl’s Missing Technologies begins by identifying a thematic link binding its chapters: specifically, the exploration of alternative histories for the trajectory of classical Husserlian phenomenology. Ihde’s book can be seen as a meditation on questions like the following: “What might phenomenology have been had Husserl paid more attention to the essential role of instrumentation and experiment in science, or to the mediating role of technologies in perception? What road might phenomenology have taken had Husserl traveled it in conversation with John Dewey, rather than the ghost of Descartes?” The book ably demonstrates how such alternative paths might have enriched philosophy, in ways that closely mirror Ihde’s own contributions to postphenomenological thought. In particular, Ihde exposes Husserl’s failure to grasp technoscience as an activity that does not only reduce materiality to mathematical formalisms, but produces new material forms and sensibilities. Yet I resist the book’s implied charge that Husserlian phenomenology is a moribund tradition that has largely exhausted its power. Instead, I argue that the progressive force and intrinsic elasticity of the phenomenological method endures in spite of the inevitable limits of Husserl’s philosophical imagination, allowing his assumptions and results (and ours) to be remade again and again in the light of the ‘things themselves.’ Moreover, the relevance of Husserl’s critique of reductive scientism has enduring relevance today; while modern science may be a practice far richer than Husserl understood, the science of our day is far from rich enough.
8. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Robert P. Crease Missing Ihde
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This article investigates how lack of a phenomenology of technology has hurt understanding of the lifeworld.  One way, as Ihde has shown, involves a failure to appreciate the instrumental mediation of experience and the extension of perception.  But Ihde also fails to notice the background in which these mediations are taking place and which shapes the mediations themselves and our interpretation of them; not even the research of technoscientists takes place in a neutral atmosphere that does not affect how we work.  This article also discusses hermeneutic distortion, or the gap in collective interpretive resources that occurs when the technoscientific infrastructure withdraws and becomes all but invisible, encouraging the tendency to treat scientific conclusions as mere opinions, and technoscientific devices as accessory rather than integral to the modern world.
9. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Yoni Van Den Eede Variations upon Ihde’s Husserl’s Missing Technologies
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In his new book, Husserl’s Missing Technologies, Don Ihde provides yet another, and highly enriching, iteration of postphenomenology. My comments here concern a couple of observations that he makes along the way with regard to the “scientific” status of philosophy and the question of whether philosophies, like technologies, have “use-lifes.” These remarks actually pierce through to the core of the postphenomenological theoretical corpus. In particular, there are consequences for the concept of multistability that need to be discussed: Are some stabilities better than others? In asking that question, which deserves the most emphasis: actuality or potentiality? And to what extent is there a continuity between “ideas” (i.e., theories) and technologies?
10. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Lenore Langsdorf From Interrelational Ontology to Instrumental Ethics: Expanding Pragmatic Postphenomenology
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Current human/social science research supports Don Ihde’s postphenomenology. In particular, archeology and anthropology support Ihde’s instrumental realism, and history identifies the culture that nourished Platonic and Aristotelian separation of mentality and materiality. Deweyean pragmatism, beginning with his analysis of the reflex arc, supports both instrumental realism and an interrelational ontology that rejects the residual Cartesian dualism in Husserlian phenomenology. Ihde’s acknowledgment of the affinity between postphenomenology and Deweyean pragmatism enables expanding his prevalent epistemological and structural orientation to encompass a normative dimension. Peter-Paul Verbeek’s focus on the ethical dimension of how products are designed and how things interact with humans is an important expansion of pragmatic postphenomenology as well as an expansion of current research on the “4e’s” of cognition—embedded, embodied, enacted, and extended—to include a fifth: ethical.
11. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Eduardo Mendieta Dispose After Expiration Date: On Don Ihde’s Husserl's Missing Technologies
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This article argues that there are three key claims of postphenomenology: first, that there is no immediate access to a phenomena that is not always already embodied; second, that there is no science that is not determined by a technology, and that technologies are instances of certain theoretical assumptions and perspectives; third, that all technoscience is enabled and mediated by the embodied perception that takes place in and through instrumentation, which leads to the insight that all scientific evidence is manufactured perception. There is critical engagement with Ihde’s take on pragmatism and it is argued that he makes too severe a distinction between embodied praxis and communicative action, between practices of embodiment and practices of communicating. The argument is that the technoscientific body is a communicative body. The article closes with the consideration of Ihde’s provocative thesis that we ought to think of philosophical systems as having expiration or obsolesce dates. The author recalls the important work of German-Jewish philosopher Günther Anders in order to think through the sense in which it is not so much our technologies that expire, but our ethical worldviews that are made discrepant and incommensurate with the challenges our technologies throw at us. It is argued that we have to make distinction between obsolesce, on the one hand, and error or failure, on the other.
12. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Daniel Susser Ihde’s Missing Sciences: Postphenomenology, Big Data, and the Human Sciences
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In Husserl’s Missing Technologies, Don Ihde urges us to think deeply and critically about the ways in which the technologies utilized in contemporary science structure the way we perceive and understand the natural world. In this paper, I argue that we ought to extend Ihde’s analysis to consider how such technologies are changing the way we perceive and understand ourselves too. For it is not only the natural or “hard” sciences which are turning to advanced technologies for help in carrying out their work, but also the social and “human” sciences. One set of tools in particular is rapidly being adopted—the family of information technologies that fall under the umbrella of “big data.” As in the natural sciences, big data is giving researchers in the human sciences access to phenomena which they would otherwise be unable to experience and investigate. And like the former, the latter thereby shape the ways those scientists perceive and understand who and what we are. Looking at two case studies of big data-driven research in the human sciences, I begin in this paper to suggest how we might understand these phenomenological and hermeneutic changes.
13. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Robert Rosenberger Husserl's Missing Multistability
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The notion of “multistability” is a central fixture of the postphenomenological framework of thought, one of the central ideas that enables this perspective to avoid both shallow determinism and instrumentalism. While this notion has been put to use in numerous case studies and theoretical treatments, here I argue that the work of following out the philosophical implications of technological multistability has only just begun. Don Ihde’s new book, Husserl’s Missing Technologies, provides a helpful jumping off point as he provides a leading-edge formulation of this idea. I continue with an attempt to sketch out the vast philosophical ground opened up by this concept, and review the contemporary work by postphenomenologists that is just starting to explore this new terrain.
14. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Don Ihde Reply to My Interlocutors
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“Reply to My Interlocutors” responds to each contributor, not in order in the text, but in order of issues. Each interlocutor deals with important issues and I situate myself in relation to these. Dealing with Husserl from a twenty-first century position has called for a multiple layered time response, since I find much of his philosophy of science highly outdated. The origins of the various chapters take place over several decades of time.
15. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Henry Moss Genes, Affect, and Reason: Why Autonomous Robot Intelligence Will Be Nothing Like Human Intelligence
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Many believe that, in addition to cognitive capacities, autonomous robots need something similar to affect. As in humans, affect, including specific emotions, would filter robot experience based on a set of goals, values, and interests. This narrows behavioral options and avoids combinatorial explosion or regress problems that challenge purely cognitive assessments in a continuously changing experiential field. Adding human-like affect to robots is not straightforward, however. Affect in organisms is an aspect of evolved biological systems, from the taxes of single-cell organisms to the instincts, drives, feelings, moods, and emotions that focus human behavior through the mediation of hormones, pheromones, neurotransmitters, the autonomic nervous system, and key brain structures. We argue that human intelligence is intimately linked to biological affective systems and to the unique repertoire of potential behaviors, sometimes conflicting, they facilitate. Artificial affect is affect in name only and without genes and biological bodies, autonomous robots will lack the goals, interests, and value systems associated with human intelligence. We will take advantage of their general intelligence and expertise, but robots will not enter our intellectual world or apply for legal status in the community.
16. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Leandro Gaitán, Luis Echarte Transforming Neuroscience into a Totalizing Meta-Narrative: A Critical Examination
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The present work is developed within the frame of so-called critical neuroscience. The aim of this article is to explain the transition from a kind of neuroscience understood as a strict scientific discipline, possessing a methodology and a specific praxis, to a kind of neuroscience that has been transformed into a meta-narrative with totalizing claims. In particular, we identify and examine eleven catalysts for such a transition: 1) a lack of communication between scientists and journalists; 2) the abuse of information by the sensational press; 3) the acceptance of specific philosophical approaches (like eliminative materialism) by a wide range of scientists; 4) the widespread transmission of two conceptual mistakes: a) an identification between methodological and ontological reductionism and b) the mereological fallacy; 5) the influence of post-Cartesian philosophical thinking in the scientific community; 6) an overwhelming scientific hyper-specialization; 7) the illegitimate transfer of authority from humanities to the sciences; 8) an inbuilt human preference for visual data; 9) economic interests; 10) scientific utopianism; and 11) the new self-help movements and their alliance with neuro-enhancement. Finally, our essay seeks to draw attention to the most damaging consequences for both science and human ways of living.
17. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Christopher Ryan Maboloc On Technological Rationality and the Lack of Authenticity in the Modern Age: A Critique of Andrew Feenberg’s Notion of Adaptability
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I will argue in this paper that Andrew Feenberg has erred in his claim on technological adaptability. Adapting to modern technology may not always be liberating. Drawing from his reflections on Heidegger and Marcuse, I will explain why Feenberg thinks that adaptability has a redemptive role in the midst of technological domination. I will also show why technological domination still characterizes human relations in the modern age. Advanced technologies including social media, have continued to manipulate people and as such, diminish rather than deepen the authenticity of human life. For instance, two people in a café sometimes spend more time on their smartphones rather than valuing their face-to-face encounter; here, one can point out the lack of authenticity in human relations. This clearly manifests how consumer culture has taken over human life. In addition, it can be said that the notion of adaptability also fails to account for the hegemonic social relations created by modern technological innovations, since these gadgets remain beyond the reach of the masses, thus broadening the divide between classes of people in society. In order to address this, I propose that people should use technology in a socially sensitive way in order to truly give meaning to their lives and to effectively resist the totalitarian tendency of the modern age.
18. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Michael Falgoust Data Science and Designing for Privacy
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Unprecedented advances in the ability to store, analyze, and retrieve data is the hallmark of the information age. Along with enhanced capability to identify meaningful patterns in large data sets, contemporary data science renders many classical models of privacy protection ineffective. Addressing these issues through privacy-sensitive design is insufficient because advanced data science is mutually exclusive with preserving privacy. The special privacy problem posed by data analysis has so far escaped even leading accounts of informational privacy. Here, I argue that accounts of privacy must include norms about information processing in addition to norms about information flow. Ultimately, users need the resources to control how and when personal information is processed and the knowledge to make information decisions about that control. While privacy is an insufficient design constraint, value-sensitive design around control and transparency can support privacy in the information age.
19. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Joshua Penrod Be(ing) the Machine: Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars, by Janet Vertesi
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20. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Joshua Earle An Excellent Start, but Ironically Lacks Diversity: Keywords for Disability Studies, edited by Rachel Adams, Benjamin Reiss, and David Serlin
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