Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 26, Issue 1, 2022

Nolen Gertz
Pages 172-180

Accommodating Ourselves to Death
COVID and the Threat of Technological Solutions to Human Crises

COVID-19 has created new opportunities for tech companies to supply the world with technological solutions intended to help individuals, communities, and nations maintain normalcy in the midst of disease, death, and destruction. Technologies such as virtual meeting software, coronavirus monitoring apps, and air filtration systems raise the question of whether our technological resiliency is not only helping us to maintain life as it was before, but also preventing us from asking whether we should maintain life as it was before. By comparing Sartre’s analysis of what it was like to live during the Nazi occupation of Paris to current attempts to live during the pandemic, this article investigates how the technological solutions that maintain ordinary life in the midst of catastrophe should lead us to question the catastrophic nature of what we take to be ordinary life.