David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 168 (3):405 - 422 (2009)
Starting from common-sense notions of ‘furniture of the world’ a process ontology is developed in which prospective is an integral part. Technology as configurations that work (precariously) embodies expectations which structure further development. Examples (a cloned puppy, hotel keys, DC airplanes, stem cells, and overpasses on Long Island) are used to develop the notion of material narratives that are “written”, not just by engineers and designers/producers, but also by users: “reading” implies some further “writing”. In contrast to prevailing notions of technological control (through manipulation of building blocks), the “writing” of nanotechnology is modulation of the invisible and impredictable - an extreme example of unruly technology and repair work after the fact, where in practice control is a gesture not so different from magic. Because ontology cannot be other than prospective, it is political throughout. Thus, prospective technology highlights ontological politics.
|Keywords||Process ontology Prospective Embodied expectations Material narrative Invisible technology Control Modulation Politics|
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