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Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 19, Issue 2, Spring 2015

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents

1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Galit Wellner, Lars Botin, Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Techno-Anthropology: Guest Editors' Introduction
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2. 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
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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.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Maja Hojer Bruun, Signe Hanghøj, Cathrine Hasse, Studying Social Robots in Practiced Places
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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.
4. 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
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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.
5. 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
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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.
6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Lars Botin, The Technological Construction of the Self: Techno-Anthropological Readings and Reflections
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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.
7. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Tom Børsen, Post-Normal Techno-Anthropology
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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.
8. 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
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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.