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201. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Wolter Pieters Reve{a,i}ling the Risks: A Phenomenology of Information Security
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In information security research, perceived security usually has a negative meaning, when it is used in contrast to actual security. From a phenomenological perspective, however, perceived security is all we have. This paper develops a phenomenological account of information security, in which a distinction is made between revealed and reveiled security instead. Linking these notions with the concepts of confidence and trust, the paper provides a phenomenological explanation of the electronic voting controversy in the Netherlands.
202. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Katinka Waelbers, Adam Briggle Three Schools of Thought on Freedom in Liberal, Technological Societies
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Are citizens of contemporary technological society authors of their own lives? With Alasdair MacIntyre (contemporary Aristotelianism), Bruno Latour (Science and Technology Studies) and Albert Borgmann (Philosophy of Technology), we discuss the shortcomings of traditional liberalism in terms of its ability to answer this question. MacIntyre argues that biological vulnerabilities and social interdependencies establish meaningful parameters within which reason and willing emerge. But MacIntyre ignores technologies as a third parameter. Latour defines humans as nodes in a socio-technical network, in which technologies are actors on par with humans. However, Latour adopts a purely external perspective, ignoring human intentions, desires, and reasons. Borgmann argues that although freedom of choice is severely restricted, sometimes one can still resist the rule of technology. But Borgmann denies the pluralism of modern societies. Although all three schools have their shortcomings, combined, they provide us with a valuable palette of insights on human agency in a technological culture.
203. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Jos De Mul Moral Machines: ICTs as Mediators of Human Agencies
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In spite of the popularity of computer ethics, ICTs appear to undermine our moral autonomy in several ways. This article focuses on the ‘delegation’ of our moral agency to machines. Three stages of delegation are distinguished: implementation of moral values and norms in the design of artefacts, delegation of moral means to machines, and delegation of both moral means and goals to machines. Second, it is argued that the ‘outsourcing’ of moral agency does not necessarily lead to the undermining of our moral autonomy, but might enhance it as well.
204. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Bibi Van Den Berg I-Object: Intimate Technologies as 'Reference Groups' in the Construction of Identities
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In this article, I will investigate the ways in which Ambient Intelligence, the technological paradigm of the near future proposed by the European Union and the electronics multinational Philips, will affect the ways in which individuals construct and express their identities. The Ambient Intelligence vision predicts a world in which technologies will deliver personalized services in a proactive (rather than a responsive or interactive) fashion. I argue that this brings about a change in the way we interact with these technologies, which in turn has an effect on the way we construct and express identities in relation to such technologies. In a world of Ambient Intelligence, I will argue in this article, technological artifacts may come to function as ‘reference collectivities’, comparable to human reference groups. Due to their proactivity, their level of autonomy and self-reliance and our personalized interactions with them, these technologies will come to function as ‘others’, rather than as ‘quasi-others’.
205. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Michelle Sandell Astronomy and Experimentation
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In this paper I contest Ian Hacking’s claim that astronomers do not experiment. Riding on this thesis is a re-evaluation of his view that astronomers are less justified than other natural scientists in believing in the existence of the objects they study, and that astronomers are not proper natural scientists at all. The defense of my position depends upon carefully examining what, exactly, is being manipulated in an experiment, and the role of experimental effects for Hacking’s experimental realism. I argue that Hacking’s experimental realism is not adequately defended, and even if we accept it in good grace, the case can be still made that astronomers experiment by Hacking’s account.
206. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Michael Brownstein The Background, the Body and the Internet: Locating Practical Understanding in Digital Culture
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In recent years, Hubert Dreyfus has put forward a critique of the social and cultural effects of the Internet on modern societies based on the value of what he calls “the background” of largely tacit and unarticulated social norms. While Dreyfus is right to turn to the “background” in order to understand the effects of the Internet on society and culture, his unequivocally negative conclusions are unwarranted. I argue that a modified account of the background – one more attuned to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu calls “social fields” – can lead to sounder and more illuminating conclusions.
207. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Anne Lefebvre The Individuation of Nature in Gilbert Simondon's Philosophy and the Problematic Nature of the Technological Object
208. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Lee-Anne Broadhead, Sean Howard ‘Two Cultures,’ One Frontier: The Drexler-Smalley Debate on the Limits and Potential of Nanotechnology
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This paper approaches the ‘Drexler-Smalley’ debate on nanotechnology from a neglected angle – the common denominator of ‘the frontier’ as a metaphor for scientific exploration. For Bensaude-Vincent, the debate exemplifies the clash of ‘two cultures’ – the ‘artificialist’ and biomimetic’ schools. For us, the portrayal of nanosphere as ‘new frontier’ stymies the prospect of genuine inter-cultural debate on the direction of molecular engineering. Drawing on Brandon, the‘dominium’ impulse of European imperialism is contrasted to the ‘communitas’ tradition of Native America. Proposing a single label – hybridist – for both schools, we juxtapose to this approach the holistic disposition of indigenous North American science.
209. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Baohua Xia Reconstructing the Disciplinary Consensus of the Philosophy of Technology: Henry Dircks and The Philosophy of Invention
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The author of The Philosophy of Invention, Henry Dircks (1806–1873), was an English civil engineer, inventor and historian of technology. The Philosophy of Invention is a forgotten classic of the philosophy of technology, and its author a forgotten pioneer. This new discovery will correct the disciplinary consensus in the philosophy of technology.
210. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Mieke Boon In Defense of Engineering Sciences: On the Epistemological Relations Between Science and Technology
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This article presents an overview of discussions in the philosophy of technology on epistemological relations between science and technology, illustrating that often several mutually entangled issues are at stake. The focus is on conceptual and ideological issues concerning the relationship between scientific and technological knowledge. It argues that a widely accepted hierarchy between science and technology, which echoes classic conceptions of epistêmê and technê, engendered the need of emancipating technology from science, thus shifting focus to epistemic aspects of engineering design and design methodology at the cost of in-depth philosophical analysis of the role of scientific research in the engineering sciences. Consequently, the majority of current literature on this topic in the philosophy of technology presents technology as almost completely divided from and independent of science, thereby losing sight of the epistemic relations between contemporary scientific practices and technology.
211. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Robert Rosenberger Introduction
212. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Norm Friesen Less is More: A Response to Ihde, Rosenberger, Borgmann, Barney and Sørensen
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This response paper begins by countering the contributions of Don Ihde and Robert Rosenberger to this special issue, making its case in existential terms. Then, addressing Darin Barney, these arguments are developed further in aesthetic terms, making use of the “modernist” educational theory of René Arcilla. This response article concludes by returning to the realm of the educational with the help of Albert Borgmann's and Estrid Sørensen's feedback.
213. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Don Ihde Dissection and Simulation: A Postphenomenological Critique
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In the lead article dissection is juxtaposed to simulation, but the problem is the example set on both sides is antiquated. I argue that a dynamic set of imaging technologies uses as in science documentaries is far superior to either the the 18th-19th century notions of biological education illustrated is what is needed.
214. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Robert Rosenberger A Phenomenological Defense of Computer-Simulated Frog Dissection
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Defenders of educational frog dissection tend to emphasize the claim that computer-simulated alternatives cannot replicate the same exact experience of slicing open a frog, with all its queasy and visceral impact. Without denying that point, I argue that this is not the only educational standard against which computer-simulated dissection should be evaluated. When real-world frog dissection is analyzed as a concrete technological practice rather than an assumed ideal, the particular educational advantages distinct to real-world dissection and virtual dissection can be enumerated and compared. Building on the work of John Dewey and Don Ihde, I explore the still-expanding advantages of computer-simulated dissection, and in this proper context of comparison it becomes clear that virtual alternatives are increasingly the more educationally beneficial option.
215. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Norm Friesen Dissection and Simulation: Brilliance and Transparency, or Encumbrance and Disruption?
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The increasing use of online simulations as replacements for animal dissection in the classroom or lab raises important questions about the nature of simulation itself and its relationship to embodied educational experience. This paper addresses these questions first by presenting a comparative hermeneutic-phenomenological investigation of online and offline dissection. It then interprets the results of this study in terms of Borgmann’s (1992) notion of the intentional “transparency” and “pliability” of simulated hyperreality. It makes the case that it is precisely encumbrance and disruption—elements that are by definition excluded from simulations and interfaces—which give dissection its educational value.
216. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Darin Barney Gut Feelings: A Response to Norm Friesen’s “Dissection and Simulation”
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This response considers how Friesen’s account of simulation helps us to think through the situation of politics under technological conditions. The alleviation of material and corporeal risks entailed in simulated dissection is compared to the manner in which emerging media technologies facilitate experiences of political participation that are evacuated of the burdens of engagement. This dynamic is finally attributed not to digital mediation itself, but to its operation under the sign of simulation.
217. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Estrid Sørensen Comment on Norm Friesen’s: “Dissection and Simulation: Brilliance and Transparency, or Encumbrance and Disruption?”
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Friesen's comparison between classroom practices and digital dissection carries the flaws of treating the digital and non-digital learning materials differently when comparing. This reply paper argues for a symmetric comparison through a focus on the way in which comparability between digital and non-digital learning materials is established by the researcher. It is suggested that such comparison might have brought about a result more favorable for digital technology.
218. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Albert Borgmann Response to Norm Friesen
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Friesen has presented an articulate and detailed account of the injuries of virtualized education and a convincing brief for the value of education that is face-to-face and engaged with tangible reality.
219. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Elizabeth Soliday Autonomy in Maternal Accounts of Birth after Cesarean
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Following decades of maltreatment of women in obstetric care, professional respect for maternal autonomy in obstetric decision making and care have become codified in global and national professional ethical guidelines. Yet, using the example of birth after cesarean, identifiable threats to maternal autonomy in obstetrics continue. This paper focuses on how current scientific knowledge and obstetric practice patterns factor into restricted maternal autonomy as evidenced in three representative maternal accounts obtained prior and subsequent to birth after cesarean. Short- and long-term remedies to improve the current state of restricted maternal autonomy in clinical practice surrounding decision making on birth after cesarean are provided.
220. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Tanya N. Cook Hooked Up: How Electronic Fetal Monitoring Affects Maternal Agency and Maternal Autonomy
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Near ubiquitous use of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) during low-risk childbirth constrains both maternal agency and maternal autonomy. An analysis of interdisciplinary literature about EFM reveals that its use cannot be understood apart from broader norms and values that have significant implications for the agency and autonomy of laboring women. Overreliance on EFM use for low-risk women threatens their autonomy in several ways: by privileging the status of the fetal patient, by delegitimizing women’s embodied experience of childbirth, and by constructing EFM data as objective science despite evidence to the contrary. In birth situations defined as high-risk, however, EFM may lead to greater maternal agency by enabling women to choose vaginal over cesarean birth. Viewing doctor-patient interactions as a co-construction in the context of an understanding that sees EFM as a social as well as technological construction may improve autonomy in childbirth.