Study points: 4.00
Taught in the first semester
POC Philosophy (internationaal)
Van Steendam Guido
The content is organized in three parts.
The first part consists of an introduction in ongoing developments in the philosophy of technology. The focus is on explaining the basic notions of an “Action Cloud Theory” (ACT) of technology, against the background of Wiebe Bijker’s theory of “Social Construction of Technology” (SCOT) and Bruno Latour’s “Actor Network Theory” (ANT).
The second part addresses the most important philosophical issues linked to Action Cloud Theory by studying the three major niches of philosophical thinking about technology. A first niche, which is also the cradle of the term “philosophy of technology”, is the thinking about technology by engineers who want to understand and explain the specific nature of their work and its social context. The course focuses on the views of Friedrich Dessauer. A second niche is a group of mainstream philosophers. The course focuses on Martin Heidegger, and briefly presents the work of Karl Jaspers as well as the debate between Herbert Marcuse and Jürgen Habermas about the place of technology in social critical theory. A third niche is a group of philosophers who did no longer study technology in general but started to analyse the features of specific technological developments and artifacts. The course focuses on Andrew Feenberg and his criticism against Heidegger and critical theory. Other philosophers such as Albert Borgmann, Hubert Dreyfus, and Donna Haraway will be briefly presented.
The third part of the course is organized around thematic issues. The lessons learned in part 1 and 2 will be confronted with philosophical issues (such as the relation between technology and science, and between technology and ethics) and with case studies of major technological developments (such as biotechnology or ICT).
Articles and literature: details will be available on Toledo.
Summaries of lectures, provided by lecturer.
Students actively participate in each of the lectures, which are organized in an interactive way. Presentation of new information is followed by short assignments which students will first discuss in break out groups and later report to the whole group. At the end the whole group can identify common results and problems; and feedback by the lecturer is given.
Students familiarize themselves with the names, theories, concepts and examples mentioned in the lectures.
Students compare the content of the lectures with selected articles and chapters compiled on a reading list, made available by the lecturer.
Students learn to write short paragraphs, summarizing elements of the lectures and relevant comparisons with the reading list.
Students prepare one short general paper (2000 words) following a prescribed format about a topic chosen from a list provided by the lecturer, showing the impact of the course content for this topic and revealing problems that require further analysis. Details about the paper will be made available during the first lecture.
One of the lectures includes a general feedback on the draft plans of the general papers. Students will learn to integrate the feedback into their own editorial plans. All students will have the opportunity to submit a summary of their planned paper before this general feedback moment.
This course is also included in
W0EN7B Philosophy of Technology