Cover of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:



Displaying: 1-20 of 485 documents


articles
1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Dina Babushkina What Does It Mean for a Robot to Be Respectful?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Intelligent systems are increasingly incorporated into relationships that had, until recently, been reserved solely for humans, and are delegated the role of a partner, which, if human, would presuppose a system of normatively regulated interactivity. This includes expectations of reciprocity and certain attitudes/actions towards human actors, such as respect. Even though a robot cannot respect, I argue that it can be respectful. A robot can be attributed respectfulness (in the direct sense) iff its interactions with persons reflect the respectful attitude of the humans involved in its design and operation. Robot respectfulness is a compound of (a) robotic actions governed by principles that (b) reflect the attitude of respect for persons by humans involved in its design, implementation, and professional use. I define respect for persons as a commitment to core values that make someone a person (i.e., intellect, rationality of reactive attitudes, autonomy, personal integrity, and trust in expertise).
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
John Danaher Technological Change and Human Obsolescence: An Axiological Analysis
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Can human life have value in a world in which humans are rendered obsolete by technological advances? This article answers this question by developing an extended analysis of the axiological impact of human obsolescence. In doing so, it makes four main arguments. First, it argues that human obsolescence is a complex phenomenon that can take on at least four distinct forms. Second, it argues that one of these forms of obsolescence (‘actual-general’ obsolescence) is not a coherent concept and hence not a plausible threat to human well-being. Third, it argues that existing fears of technologically-induced human obsolescence are less compelling than they first appear. Fourth, it argues that there are two reasons for embracing a world of widespread, technologically-induced human obsolescence.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Alexander Castleton Postphenomenology or Essentialism?: An Exploration of Inuit Commercialization of Country Foods through Facebook
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Inuit customs establish that food must be shared with the community. For many Inuit, income from wage-work feeds back into the subsistence economy, as money is needed to buy snowmobiles, gas, or rifles to practice harvesting activities. In the last decade, both scholars and journalists have noted that the commercialization of traditional foods (also known as country foods) through Facebook is a current controversy among Inuit. This article will discuss this issue contrasting technological essentialism and postphenomenology. While technological essentialism establishes, from a Heideggerian perspective, that technology transforms reality into pure resource, postphenomenology focuses on describing how technology helps to shape the relations between humans and the world. This article will propose that the commercialization of country foods reflects Facebook’s multistability—that is, the fact that any given technology can present the world in multiple ways.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Gordon Hull Infrastructure, Modulation, Portal: Thinking with Foucault about how Internet Architecture Shapes Subjects
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Following Foucault’s remarks on the importance of architecture to disciplinary power, this paper offers a typology of power relations expressed in different models of Internet governance. Infrastructure governance understands the Internet as a common pool or public resource, on the model of traditional infrastructures like roads and bridges. Modulation governance, which I study by way of Net Neutrality debates in the U.S., understands Internet governance as traffic shaping. Portal governance, which I study by way of data collection policies of dominant platform companies, understands the Internet as creating a user experience that facilitates data mining. The latter two are forms of architectural disciplinary power that undermine the first. I then argue that the rise of portal and modulation governance primarily serves to remake parts of civil society by fostering market norms of consumption and entrepreneurialism. In that sense, efforts to shape Internet architecture need to be understood as techniques of subjectification.
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Cristiano Cordeiro Cruz Decolonial Approaches to Technical Design: Building Other Possible Worlds and Widening Philosophy of Technology
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Decolonial approaches to technical design are part of a broader category of design methodologies, which actualize unfulfilled sociotechnical potentialities. In this paper, I present some decolonial theory concepts and discuss three decolonial approaches to illuminate philosophical debates that: 1) Can find in them clear traces of a third set of elements that shape every design/technology, along with the well-analyzed technical-scientific and ethical-political ones. In dialogue with Walter Vincenti and some others, I call these elements structured procedures, imagery lexicon, and aesthetical values, which constitute the central aspects of Eugene Ferguson’s art of engineering; 2) Identify, starting from some Gilbert Simondon’s and Andrew Feenberg’s ideas, any invention as triply situated (in the physical environment, the established sociotechnical reality, and the inventor’s culture and knowledge); 3) Can be taught by these decolonial approaches about some of the mainstream philosophy of technology’s colonial limitations, becoming thus able to widen (or decolonize) it.
6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Piercosma Bisconti, Antonio Carnevale Alienation and Recognition: The Δ Phenomenology of the Human–Social Robot Interaction (HSRI)
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
A crucial philosophical problem of social robots is how much they perform a kind of sociality in interacting with humans. Scholarship diverges between those who sustain that humans and social robots cannot by default have social interactions and those who argue for the possibility of an asymmetric sociality. Against this dichotomy, we argue in this paper for a holistic approach called “Δ phenomenology” of HSRI (Human–Social Robot Interaction). In the first part of the paper, we will analyse the semantics of an HSRI. This is what leads a human being (x) to assign or receive a meaning of sociality (z) by interacting with a social robot (y). Hence, we will question the ontological structure underlying HSRIs, suggesting that HSRIs may lead to a peculiar kind of user alienation. By combining all these variables, we will formulate some final recommendations for an ethics of social robots.
special section on technology and pandemic
7. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Nolen Gertz Accommodating Ourselves to Death: COVID and the Threat of Technological Solutions to Human Crises
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
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.
8. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Jill Drouillard Feminist Moral Tensions for a Nomadic Subject: Navigating the Pandemic
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article uses the figure of the nomad from the work of Rosi Braidotti to critically examine rhetoric about vaccine and masking mandates, and the science of COVID more broadly. I draw out the tensions and ambivalence felt as we navigate this on-going crisis in ways epitomized by the phrase “I have a healthy mistrust of authority, and I am still vaccinated.” Though ambivalent, the nomadic subject finds an affirmative ethics, navigating the “right” response to incite positive change and expose our current states of subjectivity. Recognizing the ambivalence of this state may be useful for feminists who critique medicine for its historical sexist and racist “objectivism,” while also supporting medical science and trust in the case of vaccine mandates.
book reviews
9. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Michał Wieczorek The Good Life after the Narrative Turn: Review of Narrative and Technology Ethics, by Wessel Reijers and Mark Coeckelbergh
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Pan Baojun The Origin and Evolution of Philosophy of Technology: Comments on The Thoughtful History of Philosophy of Technology: Review of The Thoughtful History of Philosophy of Technology, edited by Chen Fan and Zhu Chunyan
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
articles
11. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Esther Keymolen In Search of Friction: A New Postphenomenological Lens to Analyze Human-Smartphone Interactions
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Considering the key mediating role that smartphones play in everyday life, a postphenomenological analysis to better understand how we have power over these devices, how these artifacts empower and simultaneously can overpower us, seems highly relevant. This article will show that in order to engage in such a much-needed postphenomenological analysis, we will first have to address three fundamental, methodological challenges. The first challenge is brought forth by the personalized interface of smartphones, hindering postphenomenologists to unravel the so-called multistability of the device through variational analysis, which typically is an anchoring point in their analysis. The second challenge is that the networked ontology of smartphones disrupts the ideal-typical hermeneutic relationship end-users have with their smartphone. The third, closely related challenge, comes with the general focus of postphenomenology on the everyday life, first-person experience of users, which leaves many, significant stabilities hidden behind the smartphone’s interface.
12. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Johannes F. M. Schick The Potency of Open Objects: (Re-)Inventing New Modes of Being Human in the Digital Age with Bergson, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, and Simondon
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This essay researches the relation of the human being to technology in the Digital Age, employing the philosophies of Henri Bergson, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, and Gilbert Simondon. These conceptions allow for a critique of the quasi-religious belief in Singularity in the transhuman discourse of Artificial Intelligence and its underlying ontology. This ontology is based upon the belief that the world is predictable and computable. To develop a symmetrical relationship with technology in the digital age, I will argue for an ontological model of participation and novelty that conceives of living beings as constantly inventing and re-inventing new modes of being. Being human means to reinvents itself constantly by diachronically relating to its own contemporary condition as well as to the tool making origins of mankind. It implies that the technical objects have to be open in order to create a symmetrical relation with them.
13. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Filippo Fabrocini, Kostas Terzidis Re-framing AI: An AI Product Designer Perspective
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
AI is “essentially detached” from the world. The intrinsic nature of this technology precludes a proper space of negotiation between the different human and non-human actors involved and leads to an ideology of control. The challenge of the designer consists in looking across the black box, as opposed to looking inside, in order to visualise, sense, and experience why AI is leading us, and where, and how. These questions are as important as the algorithmic questions. The missing integration between human and artificial intelligence must be compensated for by mechanisms of social governance. These mechanisms should adopt an approach of constructive engagement with the limits of AI through the inclusion of social learning processes involving the different stakeholders, starting with ordinary citizens. Designing a “good” AI means to give up on a de-situated and socially detached understanding for engaging a community of actors while sharing a common concern.
14. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Laetitia Van den Bergen, Robin Van den Akker Biomimicry and Nature as Sympoiesis: A Case Study into Living Machines
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Formulating how biomimicry relates to nature has been crucial to ‘deepening’ its theory. Currently, an autopoietic model of nature dominates the literature. However, advances in the natural and human sciences have demonstrated that autopoiesis does not adequately explain complex, dynamic, responsive, and situated systems. This article draws on Beth Dempster’s (1998) characterisation of ecosystems as sympoietic, that is as homeorhetic, evolutionary, distributively controlled, unpredictable, and adaptive, and on Donna Jeanne Haraway’s (2016) critique that entities do not pre-exist their relationships. We argue that using sympoietic processes of becoming as our model, measure, and mentor impacts biomimicry’s practice and relation to sustainability. Taking John Todd’s Living Machines as a case study, we explicate how sympoiesis unfurls autopoiesis. By integrating advances in the natural and human sciences into the philosophy of biomimicry, we address the limitations of the autopoietic model and provide a more comprehensive and adequate model of ‘nature.’
15. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Rua M. Williams I, Misfit: Empty Fortresses, Social Robots, and Peculiar Relations in Autism Research
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I draw upon Critical Disability Studies and Race Critical Code Studies to apply an oppositional reading of applied robotics in autism intervention. Roboticists identify care work as a prime legitimizing application for their creations. Popular imagination of robotics in therapeutic or rehabilitative contexts figures the robot as nurse or orderly. Likewise, the dominant narrative tropes of autism are robotic—misfit androids, denizens of the uncanny valley. Diagnostic measures reinforce tropes of autistic uncanniness: monotonous speech, jerky movements, and systematic, over-logical minds. Today, robots are pitched as therapeutic tools to intervene in the social (under)development of autistic children; robots with monotonous voices, jerky, dis-coordinated movements, unsettling affect, and behavior predicated on a system of finite state logic. I present eerie and uneasy connections between the discredited works on autism and selfhood by Bettelheim and contemporary rehabilitative robotics research and imagine possibilities for robotics to divest from legacies of enslavement and policing.
16. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Dairon Alfonso Rodríguez Ramírez, Jorge Francisco Maldonado Serrano Causal Cognition and Skillful Tool Use
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
An epistemological account of tool use is fundamental for a better comprehension of technical objects within the philosophy of technology. In this paper, we put forward an answer to the question “What is the role of causal cognition in skillful tool use?” We argue that an interventionist account of causal representation enables us to see how cases of skillful tool use presuppose the acquisition of representations of the causal relationships between direct interventions on a tool and the desired effects. This approach allows us to explain two of the main features of skillful tool use: systematicity and generality.
special section on technology and pandemic
17. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Cora Olson, Claire Simpson Race: The American Trajectory of an Aimless Disease
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
We argue that dominant white cultural views and public health co-produce race as a technology that charts the path of viral transmission away from the white bodies to form a trajectory for an otherwise aimless disease. This epistemological project is one enmeshed in popular culture, medical practice, and biopolitics. COVID-19 and the related Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement work together to make visible the narrative technologies. This project contributes to understanding race and public health as co-constituted in ways that shape imaginative possibilities, material and agential realties, and health outcomes in light of COVID-19. Our argument is novel in naming race a technology of American public health and taking up Coeckelbergh and Reijers’ call for a normative theory of narrative technology. We extend Coeckelbergh and Reijers’ narrative technologies to include race, a narrative artifact, co-produced by biology, public health, and individual actors.
18. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Hsiang-Yun Chen, Li-an Yu, Linus Ta-Lun Huang To Mask or Not to Mask: Epistemic Injustice in the COVID-19 Pandemic
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Reluctance to adopt mask-wearing as a preventive measure is widely observed in many Western societies since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemics. This reluctance toward mask adoption, like any other complex social phenomena, will have multiple causes. Plausible explanations have been identified, including political polarization, skepticism about media reports and the authority of public health agencies, and concerns over liberty, amongst others. In this paper, we propose potential explanations hitherto unnoticed, based on the framework of epistemic injustice. We show how testimonial injustice and hermeneutical injustice may be at work to shape the reluctant mask adoption at both the societal and individual levels. We end by suggesting how overcoming these epistemic injustices can benefit the global community in this challenging situation and in the future.
book reviews
19. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Austin Keith Twenty Stages toward a Philosophy of Engineering: Review of Steps toward a Philosophy of Engineering: Historico-Philosophical and Critical Essays, by Carl Mitcham
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
20. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 3
Galit Wellner Where Is the Learning in Machine Learning?: Review of Posthumanist Learning: What Robots and Cyborgs Teach Us about Being Ultra-Social, by Cathrine Hasse
view |  rights & permissions | cited by