Volume 20, Issue 2, 2016
Ihde and Husserl
Dispose After Expiration Date
On Don Ihde’s Husserl's Missing Technologies
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.