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Displaying: 1-19 of 19 documents

1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Ciano Aydin, Peter-Paul Verbeek Transcendence in Technology
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According to Max Weber, the “fate of our times” is characterized by a “disenchantment of the world.” The scientific ambition of rationalization and intellectualization, as well as the attempt to master nature through technology, will greatly limit experiences of and openness for the transcendent, i.e. that which is beyond our control. Insofar as transcendence is a central aspect of virtually every religion and all religious experiences, the development of science and technology will, according to the Weberian assertion, also limit the scope of religion. In this paper, we will reflect on the relations between technology and transcendence from the perspective of technological mediation theory. We will show that the fact that we are able to technologically intervene in the world and ourselves does not imply that we can completely control the rules of life. Technological interference in nature is only possible if the structures and laws that enable us to do that are recognized and to a certain extent obeyed, which indicates that technological power cannot exist without accepting a transcendent order in which one operates. Rather than excluding transcendence, technology mediates our relation to it.
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Oliver Laas Contemporary Philosophical Theories of Virtuality: A Critical Examination and a Nominalist Alternative
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While the information revolution has ushered in a renewed philosophical interest in the notion of virtuality, the ontological status of virtual entities remains ambiguous. The present paper examines three forms of metaphysical realism about the meaning of the term ‘virtual’: genuine as well as intentionalist and computer-based reductivist realisms. Since all three are found wanting, a nominalist alternative is proposed. It is argued that ‘virtual’ is non-referential, and thus ontologically non-committing. Focusing on the metaphysical problem about the ontological status of virtuality obscures the real issue, namely the ontological status of models as implemented in software.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Mark Coeckelbergh Money as Medium and Tool: Reading Simmel as a Philosopher of Technology to Understand Contemporary Financial ICTs and Media
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This article explores the relevance of Georg Simmel’s phenomenology of money and interpretation of modernity for understanding and evaluating contemporary financial information and communication technologies (ICTs). It reads Simmel as a philosopher of technology and phenomenologist whose view of money as a medium, a “pure” tool, and a social institution can help us to think about contemporary financial media and technologies. The analysis focuses on the social-spatial implications of financial ICTs. It also makes links to media theory, in particular remediation theory and Marshall McLuhan, and refers to work in anthropology and geography of money to nuance the story of the progressive dematerialization and delocalization of modern life. The conclusion highlights Simmel’s continuing relevance for thinking about the relation between technologies and social change, and explores alternative social-financial media and institutions.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Dominic Smith The Internet as Idea: For a Transcendental Philosophy of Technology
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This article has two related aims: to examine how the Internet might be rendered an object of coherent philosophical consideration and critique, and to contribute to divesting the term “transcendental” of the negative connotations it carries in contemporary philosophy of technology. To realise them, it refers to Kant’s transcendental approach. The key argument is that Kant’s “transcendental idealism” is one example of a more general and potentially thoroughgoing “transcendental” approach focused on conditions that much contemporary philosophy of technology misunderstands or ignores, to the detriment of the field. Diverse contemporary approaches are engaged to make this claim, including those of Verbeek, Brey, Stiegler, Clark and Chalmers, Feenberg, and Fuchs. The article considers how these approaches stand in relation to tendencies towards determinism, subjectivism, and excessive forms of optimism and pessimism in contemporary considerations of the Internet. In terms of Kant’s transcendental idealism, specifically, it concludes by arguing that contemporary philosophy of technology does not go far enough in considering the Internet as a “regulative idea”; in terms of transcendental approaches more generally, it concludes by arguing that openness to the transcendental has the potential to call into question presuppositions regarding what constitutes an “empirical” object of enquiry in philosophy of technology, thereby, opening the field up to important new areas of research.
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
XUE Guibo, Carl Mitcham Rethinking the Philosophy of Science and Technology in China
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6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Galit Wellner, Lars Botin, Kathrin Otrel-Cass Techno-Anthropology: Guest Editors' Introduction
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7. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Kristine Andrule Ontological Assumptions in Techno-Anthropological Explorations of Online Dialogue through Information Systems
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With the widespread infusion of online technology there has been an increase in various studies investigating the practices in online communities including also philosophical perspectives. What those debates have in common is that they call for more critical thinking about the theory of online communication. Drawing on Techno-Anthropological research perspectives, our interest is placed on exploring and identifying human interactions and technology in intersectional spaces. This article explores information systems that allow for interchanges of different users. We discuss ontological assumptions that focus on understanding the kind of dialogue that can be captured between different expert groups when they utilize information systems. We present the notion of ‘dialogic’ by Mikhail Bakhtin and contextualize it through an analysis of online dialogue. Dialogic or ‘conversation and inquiry’ is discussed as being mediated through human relationships. Acknowledging the existence of at least two voices the underlying differences between dialogue partners are highlighted.
8. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Maja Hojer Bruun, Signe Hanghøj, Cathrine Hasse Studying Social Robots in Practiced Places
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What is the strength of anthropological fieldwork when we want to understand human technologies? In this article we argue that anthropological fieldwork can be understood as a process of gaining insight into different contextualisations in practiced places that will open up new understandings of technologies in use, e.g., technologies as multistable ontologies. The argument builds on an empirical study of robots at a Danish rehabilitation centre. Ethnographic methods combined with anthropological learning processes open up new way for exploring how robots enter into professional practices and change values, social relations and materialities. Though substantial funding has been invested in developing health service robots, few studies have been undertaken that explore human-robot interactions as they play out in everyday practice. We argue that the complex learning processes involve not only so-called end-users but also staff, management, doings and discourse in a complex amalgamation of materials and values.
9. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Pieter Lemmens Cognitive Enhancement and Anthropotechnological Change: Towards an Organology and Pharmacology of Cognitive Enhancement Technologies
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Abstract: This article focuses on cognitive enhancement technologies (CET) and their possible anthropological implications, and argues for a reconsideration of the human-technology relation so as to be able to better understand and assess these implications. Current debates on cognitive enhancement (CE) consistently disregard the intimate intertwinement of humans and technology as well as the fundamentally technogenic nature of anthropogenesis. Yet, an adequate assessment of CET requires an in-depth and up-to-date re-conceptualization of both. Employing insights from the work of Bernard Stiegler, this article proposes an organology and pharmacology of CE. What is typical about new CET is their interiorizing nature, which can be expected to fundamentally reshape organological configurations. Starting from the premise that CE is a phenomenon that predominantly unfolds within the current conjuncture of cognitive capitalism, I will present the issue of cognitive proletarianization as being of crucial importance for considering CE. I conclude by providing some methodological guidelines for the development of a positive pharmacology of CET and by suggesting that CET should be considered as technologies of the self sensu Michel Foucault.
10. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Minna Ruckenstein, Mika Pantzar Datafied Life: Techno-Anthropology as a Site for Exploration and Experimentation
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Techno-Anthropology recognizes the intertwining of technology with aims, needs, practices, and skills; ‘the techno’ and ‘the anthro’ are not only interconnected, but historically co-constituted. In this paper developments in ‘personal analytics’ are examined with the aim of proposing epistemological and methodological directions for Techno-Anthropological exploration. Personal analytics refers to the field of interactions that surrounds tracking various bodily and mental functions, including the analysis, visualization, and distribution of the data, thereby encompassing people’s involvements with measuring devices and data movements. By discussing findings from a self-tracking study that focused on heart-rate variability measurement, the article opens for scrutiny ways in which personal data can translate people’s selves into a format that is engaging and actionable. This, in turn, enables researchers to witness and critically assess a terrain where bodily and mental capacities, and life itself, are not taken as given, but become part of the processes of everyday sense-making and contestation.