Foundations of Science:1-6 (forthcoming)

Authors
Johannes Schick
University of Cologne
Abstract
This commentary introduces the notion of “technical alterity” in order to address the following questions: is it possible that technical objects can become “others” in analogy to Levinas’ ethics and can this relation provide solutions for the subject in the Anthropocene? According to Levinas, the human subject’s only break from having to be itself is in the consumption and enjoyment of things. Objects constitute thus an “other” that can be consumed, i.e., appropriated and be made one’s own. But, in times of the Anthropocene, where the entanglement of human and non-human actors becomes increasingly obvious and intricate, and a question of survival for human beings in the face of the climate crisis, it is necessary to develop a relation with non-human actors that does not reduce them to mere means to an end. This ethical relation with technical objects relies upon an epistemic act, since technical objects precisely do not have a “face” in the Levinasian sense. Technical objects as “technical others” have therefore—in light of Simondon’s philosophy of technology—to be invented.
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DOI 10.1007/s10699-020-09771-0
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References found in this work BETA

Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961 - Distribution for the U.S. And Canada, Kluwer Boston.
On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects.Gilbert Simondon - 2011 - Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 5 (3):407-424.

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