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Displaying: 1-5 of 5 documents


1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Ciano Aydin, Peter-Paul Verbeek, Transcendence in Technology
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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
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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
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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
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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
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