Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 1-19 of 19 documents


1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Ciano Aydin, Peter-Paul Verbeek Transcendence in Technology
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
According to Max Weber, the “fate of our times” is characterized by a “disenchantment of the world.” The scientific ambition of rationalization and intellectualization, as well as the attempt to master nature through technology, will greatly limit experiences of and openness for the transcendent, i.e. that which is beyond our control. Insofar as transcendence is a central aspect of virtually every religion and all religious experiences, the development of science and technology will, according to the Weberian assertion, also limit the scope of religion. In this paper, we will reflect on the relations between technology and transcendence from the perspective of technological mediation theory. We will show that the fact that we are able to technologically intervene in the world and ourselves does not imply that we can completely control the rules of life. Technological interference in nature is only possible if the structures and laws that enable us to do that are recognized and to a certain extent obeyed, which indicates that technological power cannot exist without accepting a transcendent order in which one operates. Rather than excluding transcendence, technology mediates our relation to it.
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Oliver Laas Contemporary Philosophical Theories of Virtuality: A Critical Examination and a Nominalist Alternative
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
While the information revolution has ushered in a renewed philosophical interest in the notion of virtuality, the ontological status of virtual entities remains ambiguous. The present paper examines three forms of metaphysical realism about the meaning of the term ‘virtual’: genuine as well as intentionalist and computer-based reductivist realisms. Since all three are found wanting, a nominalist alternative is proposed. It is argued that ‘virtual’ is non-referential, and thus ontologically non-committing. Focusing on the metaphysical problem about the ontological status of virtuality obscures the real issue, namely the ontological status of models as implemented in software.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Mark Coeckelbergh Money as Medium and Tool: Reading Simmel as a Philosopher of Technology to Understand Contemporary Financial ICTs and Media
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article explores the relevance of Georg Simmel’s phenomenology of money and interpretation of modernity for understanding and evaluating contemporary financial information and communication technologies (ICTs). It reads Simmel as a philosopher of technology and phenomenologist whose view of money as a medium, a “pure” tool, and a social institution can help us to think about contemporary financial media and technologies. The analysis focuses on the social-spatial implications of financial ICTs. It also makes links to media theory, in particular remediation theory and Marshall McLuhan, and refers to work in anthropology and geography of money to nuance the story of the progressive dematerialization and delocalization of modern life. The conclusion highlights Simmel’s continuing relevance for thinking about the relation between technologies and social change, and explores alternative social-financial media and institutions.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Dominic Smith The Internet as Idea: For a Transcendental Philosophy of Technology
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article has two related aims: to examine how the Internet might be rendered an object of coherent philosophical consideration and critique, and to contribute to divesting the term “transcendental” of the negative connotations it carries in contemporary philosophy of technology. To realise them, it refers to Kant’s transcendental approach. The key argument is that Kant’s “transcendental idealism” is one example of a more general and potentially thoroughgoing “transcendental” approach focused on conditions that much contemporary philosophy of technology misunderstands or ignores, to the detriment of the field. Diverse contemporary approaches are engaged to make this claim, including those of Verbeek, Brey, Stiegler, Clark and Chalmers, Feenberg, and Fuchs. The article considers how these approaches stand in relation to tendencies towards determinism, subjectivism, and excessive forms of optimism and pessimism in contemporary considerations of the Internet. In terms of Kant’s transcendental idealism, specifically, it concludes by arguing that contemporary philosophy of technology does not go far enough in considering the Internet as a “regulative idea”; in terms of transcendental approaches more generally, it concludes by arguing that openness to the transcendental has the potential to call into question presuppositions regarding what constitutes an “empirical” object of enquiry in philosophy of technology, thereby, opening the field up to important new areas of research.
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
XUE Guibo, Carl Mitcham Rethinking the Philosophy of Science and Technology in China
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Galit Wellner, Lars Botin, Kathrin Otrel-Cass Techno-Anthropology: Guest Editors' Introduction
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
7. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Kristine Andrule Ontological Assumptions in Techno-Anthropological Explorations of Online Dialogue through Information Systems
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
With the widespread infusion of online technology there has been an increase in various studies investigating the practices in online communities including also philosophical perspectives. What those debates have in common is that they call for more critical thinking about the theory of online communication. Drawing on Techno-Anthropological research perspectives, our interest is placed on exploring and identifying human interactions and technology in intersectional spaces. This article explores information systems that allow for interchanges of different users. We discuss ontological assumptions that focus on understanding the kind of dialogue that can be captured between different expert groups when they utilize information systems. We present the notion of ‘dialogic’ by Mikhail Bakhtin and contextualize it through an analysis of online dialogue. Dialogic or ‘conversation and inquiry’ is discussed as being mediated through human relationships. Acknowledging the existence of at least two voices the underlying differences between dialogue partners are highlighted.
8. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Maja Hojer Bruun, Signe Hanghøj, Cathrine Hasse Studying Social Robots in Practiced Places
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What is the strength of anthropological fieldwork when we want to understand human technologies? In this article we argue that anthropological fieldwork can be understood as a process of gaining insight into different contextualisations in practiced places that will open up new understandings of technologies in use, e.g., technologies as multistable ontologies. The argument builds on an empirical study of robots at a Danish rehabilitation centre. Ethnographic methods combined with anthropological learning processes open up new way for exploring how robots enter into professional practices and change values, social relations and materialities. Though substantial funding has been invested in developing health service robots, few studies have been undertaken that explore human-robot interactions as they play out in everyday practice. We argue that the complex learning processes involve not only so-called end-users but also staff, management, doings and discourse in a complex amalgamation of materials and values.
9. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Pieter Lemmens Cognitive Enhancement and Anthropotechnological Change: Towards an Organology and Pharmacology of Cognitive Enhancement Technologies
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Abstract: This article focuses on cognitive enhancement technologies (CET) and their possible anthropological implications, and argues for a reconsideration of the human-technology relation so as to be able to better understand and assess these implications. Current debates on cognitive enhancement (CE) consistently disregard the intimate intertwinement of humans and technology as well as the fundamentally technogenic nature of anthropogenesis. Yet, an adequate assessment of CET requires an in-depth and up-to-date re-conceptualization of both. Employing insights from the work of Bernard Stiegler, this article proposes an organology and pharmacology of CE. What is typical about new CET is their interiorizing nature, which can be expected to fundamentally reshape organological configurations. Starting from the premise that CE is a phenomenon that predominantly unfolds within the current conjuncture of cognitive capitalism, I will present the issue of cognitive proletarianization as being of crucial importance for considering CE. I conclude by providing some methodological guidelines for the development of a positive pharmacology of CET and by suggesting that CET should be considered as technologies of the self sensu Michel Foucault.
10. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Minna Ruckenstein, Mika Pantzar Datafied Life: Techno-Anthropology as a Site for Exploration and Experimentation
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Techno-Anthropology recognizes the intertwining of technology with aims, needs, practices, and skills; ‘the techno’ and ‘the anthro’ are not only interconnected, but historically co-constituted. In this paper developments in ‘personal analytics’ are examined with the aim of proposing epistemological and methodological directions for Techno-Anthropological exploration. Personal analytics refers to the field of interactions that surrounds tracking various bodily and mental functions, including the analysis, visualization, and distribution of the data, thereby encompassing people’s involvements with measuring devices and data movements. By discussing findings from a self-tracking study that focused on heart-rate variability measurement, the article opens for scrutiny ways in which personal data can translate people’s selves into a format that is engaging and actionable. This, in turn, enables researchers to witness and critically assess a terrain where bodily and mental capacities, and life itself, are not taken as given, but become part of the processes of everyday sense-making and contestation.
11. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Lars Botin The Technological Construction of the Self: Techno-Anthropological Readings and Reflections
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper aims at constructing the ontological and epistemological background for a methodology to be applied in Techno-Anthropological reflection and practice. The background is constructed as a patchwork, where structuralism, constructivism and post-phenomenology are woven together in order to support Techno-Anthropological reflection and practice in relation to the construction of the self through and with technology. The paper will specifically address what has been named the morality of things, primarily by Jacques Ellul, Hans Jonas, Michel Foucault and Peter-Paul Verbeek. It is the intent of this paper to point out a direction for an appropriate and value-based Techno-Anthropology. This direction is represented by a codex that here has been coined as the 7 ‘E’s: engagement, empathy, embodiment, enactment, enhancement, empowerment, and emancipation. The paper will conclude by showing how these are connected within a Techno-Anthropological perspective.
12. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Tom Børsen Post-Normal Techno-Anthropology
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper identifies, explains, and illustrates the meaning of Post-Normal Techno-Anthropology as a two-step methodological strategy for analyzing policy-relevant scientific dissent in different segments of science, techno-science, and technological innovation. The first step focuses on epistemological and ethical analyses of the dissenting parties’ positions, and identifies conflicting arguments and assumptions on different levels. The second step involves scholarly discussions on how the analyses of policy-relevant scientific dissent can inform decision-makers and science advisors’ phronetic judgments. Dissenting views on climate change of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change is used as an illustrative example.
13. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Andreas Birkbak, Morten Krogh Petersen, Torben Elgaard Jensen Critical Proximity as a Methodological Move in Techno-Anthropology
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Techno-Anthropology is a new field, operating with a broad range of methodologies and approaches. This gives rise to the question: What does it mean for Techno-Anthropological research to be critical? In this paper, we discuss this question by developing and specifying the notion of ‘critical proximity.’ Critical proximity offers an alternative to critical distance, especially with respect to avoiding premature references to abstract panoramas such as democratization and capitalist exploitation in the quest to conduct ‘critical’ analysis. Critical proximity implies, instead, granting the beings, fields, and objects we study their own rights and abilities to problematize grand scale claims. Critical proximity further entails that we as researchers are implicated in issues and their formation in ways that allow us to register these critiques and methods, and to emphasize or supplement them. We work through two cases—one on the involvement of users in innovation projects and another on commercial web technologies for tracing issues—to show how critical proximity may be practiced. We sum up the lessons derived in four methodological guidelines for doing research with critical proximity.
14. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Joseph D. Martin Evaluating Hidden Costs of Technological Change: Scaffolding, Agency, and Entrenchment
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper explores the process by which new technologies supplant or constrain cultural scaffolding processes and the consequences thereof. As elaborated by William Wimsatt and James Griesemer, cultural scaffolds support the acquisition of new capabilities by individuals or organizations. When technologies displace scaffolds, those who previously acquired capabilities from them come to rely upon the new technologies to complete tasks they could once accomplish on their own. Therefore, the would-be beneficiaries of those scaffolds are deprived of the agency to exercise the capabilities the scaffolds supported. Evaluating how technologies displace cultural scaffolds can ground philosophical assessments of the cultural value of technologies.
15. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Heather Wiltse, Erik Stolterman, Johan Redström Wicked Interactions: (On the Necessity of) Reframing the ‘Computer’ in Philosophy and Design
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The digital computational technologies that over the past decades have come to be fully integrated into nearly all aspects of human life have varying forms, scales, interactive mechanisms, functions, configurations, and interconnections. Much of this complexity and associated implications for human experience are, however, hidden by prevalent notions of ‘the computer’ as an object. In this paper, we consider how everyday digital technologies collectively mediate human experience, arguing that these technologies are better understood as fluid assemblages that have as many similarities with the infra-structural as they have properties typical for objects. We characterize these aspects in terms of ‘wicked interactions,’ drawing on and adapting the classic theory of wicked problems in design discourse that has similarly considered the complexity of interactions with and within other types of social infrastructure. In doing this we emphasize the need and the potential for building up connections between philosophy of technology and design discourse, with the hope that this might further the shared goals of understanding digital technologies and their consequences and determining how to act in relation to them and their design.
16. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Timothy Barker Media Ecology in Michel Serres's Philosophy of Communication
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Throughout his philosophical project Michel Serres uses the etymological connections between words to reveal much larger experiential and philosophical links. One such connection is between the words ‘media’ and ‘milieu’. In this paper I show how Serres’ philosophy of communication can be used to think critically about the relationship between media and the environment. The paper provides an introduction to Serres’ mode of thought, focusing on his treatment of communication systems. It explores his articulation of noise, information, and thermodynamics and what this contributes to critical discussions of media ecology.
17. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Liam Mitchell Karmic Cascades: Ranking Content and Conditioning Thought on reddit.com
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The content ranking system of reddit.com, the English language Internet’s most popular social news website, plays a large but often unnoticed role in shaping what users see and how they think. By pairing informational cascade theory with textual analysis, I argue that the “karma” system elevates particular forms of content over others and generates numerical cues that unconsciously guide users’ judgments about said content and about the world. By drawing on Heidegger’s account of modern technology, I argue that the karma system both symptomatizes and engenders an ontological perspective according to which things in general are taken as available, evaluable, and disposable.
18. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Giovanni Simonetta The Realism and Ecology of Augmented Reality: An Ecological Way to Understand the Human-Computer Relationship
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Unlike in the phrase “Virtual Reality,” in the phrase “Augmented Reality” (AR) the stress is put on the word “reality.” It seems, though, that we still lack a concept of reality which can fit the world of both humans and computers. In connection with this philosophical issue, this paper aims to provide the background for a better insight into the meaning of Augmented Reality and its impact on human behavior. My thesis is that an ecological version of direct perception’s realism constitutes the most natural framework from which to start. The ecological approach to perception – namely, the Gibsonian theory of affordances – together with a non-dualistic, pragmatist and evolutionist notion of reality, perfectly fits this purpose. Thus, after a brief survey of the present state of AR technologies, it should become natural to interpret AR digital contents as implementations of affordances.
19. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Joshua Penrod Ingenious Fluids: A Review of The Romantic Machine
view |  rights & permissions | cited by