Cover of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents

1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Luca M. Possati Is There a Digital World?: Video Games as a Framework for Analyzing the Relations between Software and Lived Experience
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This article discusses the relation between software and human experience. I argue that software-based experiences are based on a radical discrepancy between the code and “lived experience.” This break is different than the so-called “opacity” of technology. I start analyzing a case study: the video game Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Video games are one of the most profound digital experiences humans can have. When I play a video game I do not see the code. However, the code is the source of my experience. I claim that the code’s concealment is the necessary condition of the digital experience. I discuss the ontological definition of software as an entity. Software, I claim, is a complex object, composed of many different levels, whose unity is problematic. In the last part of the essay I argue that the break between lived experience and code is recomposed by imagination through the act of design.
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Michael Gurvitch The Darwin Is in the Details: The Evolution of Electronics
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Electronics can be defined as electromagnetic technology dealing with information, and meta-electronics as a field encompassing all the synergistic technologies in which electronics plays a dominant role. Examining the broad field corresponding to this definition we realize that its history starts some seventy years earlier than the customarily accepted birth of electronics, and, what is more significant, that electronics undergoes a true evolution. This new evolution creates rich, diverse structures similar to those created by the biological evolution. Like biology, electronics is non-teleological, which allows for its unlimited evolutionary development. We propose electronic analogies of all essential biological categories, at all levels: population, speciation, common ancestor, phenotype, extended phenotype, co-evolution, convergent evolution, evolutionary arms race, extinction and mass extinction, hierarchical levels, generative entrenchment, genes, alleles, genome, genetic pool, recombination, mutation, genetic drift, lateral gene transfer, etc. The evolutionary algorithm operating in electronics, like a Darwinian one, includes variation within a population of device models, heredity, natural (market) selection, and a form of selection based on aesthetics and fashion which resembles sexual selection. Algorithm is especially similar to artificial selection (domestication), thus possessing directionality in the variational part. Electronic development is orders of magnitude faster than biological, accelerated by that directionality and by other distinct, identifiable mechanisms. Speciation in electronics, as in biology, is best represented on a phylogenetic tree, which starts from a common ancestor (electric telegraph), but lately exhibits a unification trend. If continued, this trend may lead to the appearance of a common descendant absent in biology. Our analysis may explain emerging anti-social aspects of electronics and our conclusions add new urgency to recent concerns with unchecked development of Artificial Intelligence.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Vincent Blok What Is Innovation?: Laying the Ground for a Philosophy of Innovation
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In this article, I reflect on the nature of innovation to lay the groundwork for a philosophy of innovation. First, I contrast the contemporary techno-economic paradigm of innovation with the work of Joseph Schumpeter. It becomes clear that Schumpeter’s work provides good reasons to question the techno-economic paradigm of innovation. Second, I contrast ‘innovation’ with ‘technology’ and identify five differences between the two concepts. Third, I reflect on the process-outcome dimension and the ontic-ontological dimension of innovation to develop four characteristics of the phenomenon of innovation. These four characteristics move beyond the techno-economic paradigm of innovation and highlight, first, the importance of its process dimension understood as ontogenesis, second, the outcome of innovation, and third, the importance of the ontological dimension of innovation, which is considered adjacent to its fourth characteristic, i.e., the ontic level of the outcome of innovation. After drawing conclusions, a research agenda for future research is provided.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Thomas Lee Cultures of Number: Connections across Literature, Design, and Technology
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This article argues humanities scholarship is often dismissive of the quantitative, and that there is scope for worthwhile interdisciplinary research into the way everyday life is given tone and texture by experiences and cultures of number. Following the work of Mary Poovey (2008) and Steven Connor (2016), it challenges the view, particularly influential in the humanities, that number and associated ideas to do with data, objectivity, mathematics, and the rational, are parasitic upon life. In contrast to this view, this article suggests that even if the idea of ‘the human’ is defined in opposition to number, the relation between the two is more usefully understood as an interweaving of differential tensions, rather than two poles separated by an uncrossable distance. Examples from literary fiction and two smartphone apps are analysed with the intent of initiating a dialogue between different cultural objects that share a concern with number and human experience.
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Shane Epting Urban Infrastructure and the Problem of Moral Praise
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Most components of urban infrastructure remain hidden. Due to this condition, we do not think about them in a way that pays attention to the full scope of moral possibilities. For instance, when such topics are forced from the periphery of our thinking to the forefront of our minds, it is usually in terms of figuring out who to blame when they fail to function properly. In turn, one could argue that we only care to talk about an action’s moral status that pertains to infrastructure when it becomes a hazard. While this point deserves examination, the more significant issue is that we lack the moral language required to have conversations about moral praise regarding public works. The purpose of this paper, then, is to flesh out how to discuss morality and infrastructure regarding moral praise.
6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Levi Checketts The Sacrality of Things: On the Technological Augmentation of the Sacred
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Abstract: Mitcham, Borgmann, and others argue the character of technology is at odds with the character of Christian life. This paper challenges that claim in two moves. First, I examine ways Christian theology has been formed by Roman crucifixion, the printing press, and transoceanic navigation; Christology, biblical studies, and missiology are critically dependent upon technologies that facilitated the death of Jesus, the spread of Protestant literature, and the migration of missionaries. Second, I contend that these technologies shed light on a complicated relationship between the realm of the “sacred” and technologies. Technologies can have the character of being sacred or sacramental. As sacred, technologies fall within the purview of religious devotion like relics or icons. As sacramental, they influence the field of theology, through augmentation or restriction. Thus, technologies can be compatible with Christianity and have a positive effect on religion, expanding the fields of theological reflection and religious devotion.
special section on technology and pandemic
7. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Galit Wellner The Zoom-bie Student and the Lecturer
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As part of the Special Section: Technology & Pandemic, this article exam­ines the experience of teaching and learning via Zoom. I examine how technologies mediate the learning process with the postphenomenological notions of embodiment and hermeneutic relations. This section serves as a basis for understanding the trans­formation of that process into online learning. The next section is named “the Zoom-bie”—a combination of the words Zoom and zombie. The figure of the Zoom-bie provides me a way to critically review the new practices experienced in the spring semester of 2020. After analyzing the variations of the learning process with a fresh look at embodiment and hermeneutic relations, the last section titled “the digital classroom” examines this transformation from an alternative point-of-view, that of the classroom as a technology-saturated background.
8. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Ryan Jenkins, Zachary I. Rentz, Keith Abney Big Brother Goes to School: Best Practices for Campus Surveillance Technologies During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Few sectors are more affected by COVID-19 than higher education. There is growing recognition that reopening the densely populated communities of higher education will require surveillance technologies, but many of these technologies pose threats to the privacy of the very students, faculty, and staff they are meant to protect. The authors have a history of working with our institution’s governing bodies to provide ethical guidance on the use of technologies, especially including those with significant implications for privacy. Here, we draw on that experience to provide guidelines for using surveillance technologies to reopen college campuses safely and responsibly, even under the specter of covid. We aim to generalize our recommendations, so they are sensitive to the practical realities and constraints that universities face.
book reviews
9. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Simon N. Balle A Competent Guide to The Ethics of Humans and Robots
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10. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Sasha Niehorster-Cook Representation’s Essence: Epistemic Insights from Silicon Valley
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