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1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Victoria Dos Santos, Humberto Valdivieso

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The aim of this article is to study and explore the cyborg as a metaphoric figure, as well as its semiotic correlation with the contemporary subject, an entity moving through a society developed by digital technologies. The cyborg paradigm is formed by the unification of existing dichotomies between human-machine, nature-culture, and science-magic, disrupting transcendental dualisms and fixed categories. These phenomena can be understood through the concept of intertextuality developed first by Julia Kristeva and then by Roland Barthes, both using the cyborg body as a textual construction, and through Donna Haraway’s theory, which understands cyborgs as an indexical consequence of digital mediation in human society.
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Luca M. Possati

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In today’s society the use of new technologies for data visualizations is becoming increasingly widespread. This article seeks neither to give a complete view of its history nor an exhaustive definition of the phenomenon of data visualization. This article takes a new perspective on data visualization by dealing only with a new type of data visualizations, those based on “Big Data” and AI systems. This perspective is completely different from existing ones. Therefore, I explore three main theses: (a) that AI systems applied to large amounts of data that we cannot directly know (so-called “Big Data”) can create “living” and interactive images with a multifaceted nature and efficacy (epistemic, phenomenal, and subjective); (b) that this new type of data visualizations is deeply linked to the so-called “iconic turn” trend in the field of social sciences because many of the theses of the “iconic turn” are confirmed and even reinforced by these data visualizations; (c) that through the production of “living” images, digital technologies demonstrate their ability to re-define and re-configure our experience and re-ontologize reality by creating new entities requiring new philosophical tools to be fully understood. I focus mainly on this third thesis by stressing the hermeneutical function of data visualization.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Siby K. George Orcid-ID

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Posthumanist readings of the Heidegger corpus often conclude that the transformed future human essence must either be the ecoromanticist ideal of the attuned dweller or the technoprogressivist ideal of the technicized animal. Such inferences are untenable according to the logic of the text, where human essence is envisaged as radically unfixed and open, and humans themselves as meaningful contributors to their future essence. In this way, the transformation of human essence can become a genuinely ethicopolitical question, rather than an ontologically predetermined one. An ontologically open posthumanist and biohistorical reading of the Heidegger corpus concerning the human future is possible if focus is placed on the logic of the text itself rather than authorial intentions.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Jared L. Talley

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The human imagination is puzzling. Barring extreme cases, every person has an intimate relationship with their own imagination, and although the constitution of that relationship may itself be obscure, we should not assume that it is thus inconsequential. This raises the salient question of this essay: How is imagination consequential? I develop an account of the imagination that helps to evaluate the impact of digital manipulation through Computer Generated Media on our imaginations, especially as it occurs in media-saturated societies. This essay proceeds in four parts. First, I briefly develop an account of the imagination that serves this evaluation. Second, I describe how digital technology is able to impact our imaginations. Third, I explore the impacts that this has on our imaginations—what I label the horizontal and vertical stretching of our imaginations. Lastly, I consider plausible consequences of stretching our imaginations with digital technologies.
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Tiger Roholt Orcid-ID

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In a social situation, why is it sometimes off-putting when a person reaches for his smartphone? In small-group contexts such as a college seminar, a business meeting, a family meal, or a small musical performance, when a person begins texting or interacting with social media on a smartphone he may disengage from the group. When we do find this off-putting, we typically consider it to be just impolite or inappropriate. In this essay, I argue that something more profound is at stake. One significant way in which individuals shape their self-identities is through interactions with others in small groups. Much identity-work is interdependent; it requires generating and preserving social contexts. I argue that the smartphone-use of some individuals can fracture a group’s context and thus negatively affect the identity-work of others. In this essay, I examine identity-work, sociality, and personal technology from a perspective of existential phenomenology.
6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Natalia Juchniewicz Orcid-ID

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This article raises the problem of extended memory in the context of using a smartphone. Taking into account the extended mind hypothesis and the everyday practices of smartphone users, the article analyses four fields of memory: pictures, chats, maps and, geolocating games. Each of these fields can be used in a number of ways to reinforce memory or to participate in the memory practices of an individual or a collectivity, and this is analysed in the article using numerous examples. The problem of extended memory is considered in the article on a theoretical level by referring to new media studies (on mobile phones and iPhones). The practical dimension of this problem is presented by the results of empirical, qualitative research conducted among smartphone users.

special section on technology and pandemic

7. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Regletto Aldrich D. Imbong Orcid-ID

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As the Philippines continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, new modalities of instruction are being devised by the administration of Rodrigo Duterte, through the Department of Education (DepEd). Among these are what the DepEd provided as self-learning modules (SLMs) combined with “alternative learning delivery modalities” which include radio-based instruction (DepEd 2020). The SLMs and radiobased instruction are the most common modalities of learning, being the most accessible especially for the poor students of the country. This paper will examine the pedagogical and political dimensions of a radio-based instruction. Coming from the tradition of philosophy of technology that emphasizes the political nature of technology, I will argue how the logic of radio broadcasting predetermines a specific pedagogy and form of communication. I will further argue how this predetermined form of communication carries the danger of being an effective support for authoritarianism.
8. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Ryan Wittingslow

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In this article I argue that the COVID-19 pandemic is an unintended artefact with emergent features. Not only is the pandemic an accidental consequence of human agency, it also a) emerges from but is not reducible to its basal features, and b) possesses the features of radical novelty, coherence, wholeness, dynamism, ostensiveness, and downwards causation.