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Displaying: 41-50 of 503 documents

41. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2/3
Danika Drury-Melnyk Beyond Adaptation and Anthropomorphism: Technology in Simondon
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This paper attempts to bring the work of Gilbert Simondon into conversation with contemporary discourse on climate change and the Anthropocene. Though his work pre-dates the coining of the term, Simondon, with his non-anthropomorphic view of technology, is in many ways a philosopher of the Anthropocene. In this paper I contrast Simondon’s philosophy to the popular idea that technology is something we can use to adapt to the practical problems of the Anthropocene. I will begin by looking briefly at the narrative of adaptation in the Anthropocene. I will then discuss Simondon’s philosophy of individuation in order to understand why he rejects these narratives of adaptation. Next, I will look at his own ideas on the role that can be played by technology. Ultimately, I hope to describe why, for Simondon, a view of technology that centres on relation rather than on a particular view of the human subject is crucial to human life. The significance of a non-anthropomorphic approach to technology extends beyond the current ecological crisis to all manner of injustice, violence, and misunderstanding between human groups as well as the environment.
42. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2/3
Bernard Stiegler, Daniel Ross What Is Called Caring?: Beyond the Anthropocene
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This article addresses the question under what conditions it is still possible to think in today’s era of the Anthropocene, in which the human has become the key factor in the evolution of the biosphere, considering the fact, structurally neglected by philosophy, that thinking is thoroughly conditioned by a technical milieu of retentional dispositives. The Anthropocene results from modern technology’s domination of the earth through industrialization that is currently unfolding as a process of generalized, digital automation, which tends to eliminate reflection and to block any genuine questioning of its own development, producing a state of generalized entropy at all levels—ecological, psychic, social, economic, and, in particular, the noetic or thinking. The radical undermining of the very possibility of thinking and questioning, thought by Martin Heidegger in terms of Enframing, should be understood as a pharmacological situation that calls for a therapeutic reversal of the toxicity of current digital technologies into a remedial instrument for realizing a negentropic turn beyond the Anthropocene and toward the Neganthropocene. This requires that thinking starts to understand itself as caring, i.e., as a taking care of itself by taking care of the technical pharmaka that thoroughly constitute and condition it and that can render human life as noetic life both deeply unlivable and profoundly worthwhile.
43. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Gili Yaron, Guy Widdershoven, Jenny Slatman Recovering a "Disfigured" Face: Cosmesis in the Everyday Use of Facial Prostheses
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Prosthetic devices that replace an absent body part are generally considered to be either cosmetic or functional. Functional prostheses aim to restore (some degree of) lost physical functioning. Cosmetic prostheses attempt to restore a “normal” appearance to bodies that lack (one or more) limbs by emulating the absent body part’s looks. In this article, we investigate how cosmetic prostheses establish a normal appearance by drawing on the stories of the users of a specific type of artificial limb: the facial prosthesis. Given that prostheses are first and foremost devices worn upon the body, such an analysis requires an understanding of the ways in which bodies and technologies interact. We thus interpret users’ stories by critically engaging with the work of disability researcher and Actor-Network theorist Myriam Winance, as well as with the postphenomenological scholarship of Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek. Using this framework, we explore users’ attempts to achieve a proper fit between their faces and their prostheses, the technological transparency such a fit enables, and the ways in which transparency mediates users’ everyday exchanges with others. We conclude that a normal appearance, when it is achieved by means of prosthetics, enables the device’s user to navigate a precarious social environment as they encounter and interact with others in public.
44. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Hub Zwart “Extimate” Technologies and Techno-Cultural Discontent: A Lacanian Analysis of Pervasive Gadgets
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According to a chorus of authors, the human life-world is currently invaded by an avalanche of high-tech devices referred to as “emerging,” ”intimate,” or ”NBIC” technologies: a new type of contrivances or gadgets designed to optimize cognitive or sensory performance and / or to enable mood management. Rather than manipulating objects in the outside world, they are designed to influence human bodies and brains more directly, and on a molecular scale. In this paper, these devices will be framed as ‘extimate’ technologies (both intimate and external; both embedded and foreign; both life-enhancing and intrusive), a concept borrowed from Jacques Lacan. Although Lacan is not commonly regarded as a philosopher of technology, the dialectical relationship between human desire and technological artefacts runs as an important thread through his work. Moreover, he was remarkably prescient concerning the blending of life science and computer science, which is such a distinctive feature of the current techno-scientific turn. Building on a series of Lacanian concepts, my aim is to develop a psychoanalytical diagnostic of the technological present. Finally, I will indicate how such an analysis may inform our understanding of human life and embodiment as such.
45. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Christopher Ryan Maboloc Social Transformation and Online Technology: Situating Herbert Marcuse in the Internet Age
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The Internet age has seen the influential rise of social media. Consumer culture is tied to this modern phenomenon. This paper begins with an exposition of Herbert Marcuse’s grounding in phenomenology and his subsequent critique of Heidegger’s apolitical Dasein. In explicating Marcuse’s critical theory of technology, this paper will retrace Hegel’s influence on Marcuse in the idea of the dialectic. The dialectic is an integral aspect of social transformation. While modern technology may be value-neutral, it is argued herein that the lack of depth in social media provokes thought and invites critical dissent. Marcuse believes in the capacity of modern tools to effect social reform through adaptation. But emerging pathologies from online technology also have pressing challenges. For instance, social media makes manifest a dominant order that can be manipulative. It can be said that particular interests, notably from business and capitalists, shape the type of consumer culture that online technology promotes. In advancing Marcuse’s relevance in today’s Internet age, the paper will explore how social media as a platform can truly liberate the individual from the ills that consumerism peddles online.
46. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Timothy Colburn, Gary Shute Type and Metaphor for Computer Programmers
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The duality of computer programs is characterized, on the one hand, by their physical implementations on physical devices, and, on the other, by the conceptual implementations in programmers’ minds of the objects making up the computational processes they conceive. We contend that central to programmers’ conceptual implementations are (i) the concept of type, at both the programming and the design level, and (ii) metaphors created to facilitate these implementations.
book review
47. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Alberto Romele Entangled in Digital Media: Review of Digital Media: Human-Technology Connection, by Stacey O’Neal Irwin
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48. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Christine Boshuijzen-van Burken Beyond Technological Mediation: A Normative Practice Approach
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Several philosophers of technology have argued that technology mediates human actions. For example, in the branch of post-phenomenology, authors such as Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek have described the mediating aspects of technology in terms of morality of technology (more prominent in Verbeek) as well as in the sense that technology changes our perception of ourselves and the world (more prominent in Ihde). In this article, different existing types of mediation are presented, critiqued, and enriched. The four types are illustrated by referring to military high-tech environments with a focus on visual data and imaging technologies. These technologies can mediate actions (1) by inviting certain behavior, (2) through amplification and reduction, (3) through built-in norms, and (4) through interpretation. The four types of mediation mainly focus on the technology or technological artifact itself. What these approaches fail to grasp, however, is the specific user practices in which most technologies function. In this article, it is argued that to understand the mediating aspects of technology more fully, attention should be paid to the specific user context in which the technology functions. Therefore, an enriched understanding of the four types of mediation of technology is proposed by taking the lens of normative practices and analyzing the different types of mediation through this lens. The Kunduz airstrike incident, which took place in 2009 in Afghanistan, is a case in which a visual data sharing device called Rover played a prominent role. This case is used in this article to illustrate how technology mediates human actions in military practice.
49. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Chrysanthos Voutounos, Andreas Lanitis A Cultural Semiotic Aesthetic Approach for a Virtual Heritage Project: Part A—The Semiotic Foundations of the Approach
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This paper presents an integrated framework applied towards the design and evaluation of a virtual museum of Byzantine art that combines the theorized fields of semiotics, virtual heritage (VH), and Byzantine art. A devised semiotic model, the case study semiosphere, synthesizes important principles from the theoretical background justifying the overall design and evaluation methodology. The approach presented has theoretical extensions to the understanding of the role technology plays in promoting a consummatory aesthetic experience for Byzantine art in virtual environments, complementing the experience received from traditional Byzantine art media. Part A of the work presents the development of the semiotic foundation of the study prior to presenting the applied potential of the approach in design and evaluation of VH for Byzantine art, which appears in Part B. The final task of the proposed approach aims to support a meaningful interpretation, assisting in the promotion of the significance (value) of the virtual museum to potential interpreters/visitors.
50. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Daniel Susser Information Privacy and Social Self-Authorship
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The dominant approach in privacy theory defines information privacy as some form of control over personal information. In this essay, I argue that the control approach is mistaken, but for different reasons than those offered by its other critics. I claim that information privacy involves the drawing of epistemic boundaries—boundaries between what others should and shouldn’t know about us. While controlling what information others have about us is one strategy we use to draw such boundaries, it is not the only one. We conceal information about ourselves and we reveal it. And since the meaning of information is not self-evident, we also work to shape how others contextualize and interpret the information that they have about us. Information privacy is thus about more than controlling information; it involves the constant work of producing and managing public identities, what I call “social self-authorship.” In the second part of the essay, I argue that thinking about information privacy in these terms reveals threats to privacy that the control approach neglects. Namely, information technology makes social self-authorship invisible and unnecessary by making it difficult for us to know when others are forming impressions about us and by providing others with tools for making assumptions about who we are which obviate the need for our involvement in the process.