"... Dr. Ihde brings an enlightening and deeply humanistic perspective to major technological developments, both past and present." —Science Books & Films "Don Ihde is a pleasure to read.... The material is full of nice suggestions and details, empirical materials, fun variations which engage the reader in the work... the overall points almost sneak up on you, they are so gently and gradually offered." —John Compton "A sophisticated celebration of cultural diversity and of its enabling technologies.... perhaps the best single (...) volume relating the philosophical tradition to the broad issues raised by contemporary technologies." —Choice "... important and challenging... " —Review of Metaphysics "... a range of rich historical, cultural, philosophical, and psychological insights, woven together in an intriguing and clear exposition... The book is really a pleasure to read, for its style, immense learning and sanity." —Teaching Philosophy The role of tools and instruments in our relation to the earth and the ways in which technologies are culturally embedded provide the foci of this thought-provoking book. (shrink)
Humans, more than any other species, have been altering their paths of development by creating new material forms and by opening up to new possibilities of material engagement. That is, we become constituted through making and using technologies that shape our minds and extend our bodies. We make things which in turn make us. This ongoing dialectic has long been recognised from a deep-time perspective. It also seems natural in the present in view of the ways new materialities and digital (...) ecologies increasingly envelop our everyday life and thinking. Still the basic idea that humans and things are co-constituted continues to challenge us, raising important questions about the place and meaning of materiality and technical change in human life and evolution. This paper bridging perspectives from postphenomenology and Material Engagement Theory is trying to attain better understanding about these matters. Our emphasis falls specifically on the human predisposition for technological embodiment and creativity. We re-approach the notion Homo faber in a way that, on the one hand, retains the power and value of this notion to signify the primacy of making or creative material engagement in human life and evolution and, on the other hand, reclaims the notion from any misleading connotations of human exceptionalism. In particular, our use of the term Homo faber refers to the special place that this ability has in the evolution and development of our species. The difference that makes the difference is not just the fact that we make things. The difference that makes the difference is the recursive effect that the things that we make and our skills of making seem to have on human becoming. We argue that we are Homo faber not just because we make things but also because we are made by them. (shrink)
In this book, a leading philosopher of technology explores the meaning of bodies in technology—how the sense of our bodies and of our orientation in the world is affected by the various information technologies.
Ihde's book breaks new ground and... makes an important debate accessible." —Robert Ackermann Instrumental Realism has three principal aims: to advocate a "praxis-perception" approach to the philosophy of science; to explore ways in which ...
Introduction: situating Heidegger and the philosophy of technology -- Heidegger's philosophy of technology -- The historical-ontological priority of technology over science -- Deromanticizing Heidegger -- Interlude: the earth inherited -- Was Heidegger prescient concerning technoscience? -- Heidegger's technologies: one size fits all -- Concluding postphenomenological postscript: writing technologies.
Experimental Phenomenology has already been lauded for the ease with which its author explains and demonstrates the kinds of consciousness by which we come to know the structure of objects and the structure of consciousness itself. The format of the book follows the progression of a number of thought experiments which mark out the procedures and directions of phenomenological inquiry. Making use of examples of familiar optical illusions and multi-stable drawings, Professor Ihde illustrates by way of careful and disciplined step-by-step (...) analyses, how some of the main methodological procedures and epistemological concepts of phenomenology assume concrete relevance. Such formidable fare as epoche, noetic and noematic analysis, apodicticity, adequacy, sedimentation, imaginative variation, field, and fringe are rendered into the currency of familiar examples from the everyday world. (shrink)
This introduction to the special issue of Human Studies on postphenomenology outlines specific developments which have led to this style of phenomenology. Postphenomenology adapts aspects of pragmatism, including its anti-Cartesian program against early modern subject/object epistemology. Postphenomenology retains and emphasizes the use of phenomenological variations as an analytic tool, and in practice postphenomenology takes what is commonly now called “an empirical turn,” which deeply analyzes case studies or concrete issues under its purview.
Today’s scientific imaging technologies are able to detect and image emissions and radiations from a much wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum than ever before. Such phenomena lie beyond the horizons of ordinary human perceptibility. I examine here the implications of such translation mediations for the production of scientific knowledge and show how human embodiment is implicit for all perceptual observational possibilities. The framework is that of a postphenomenology which is able to relate these new phenomena to human embodiment.
The phenomenological tradition has had a long interest in embodiment, and bodily experience beyond the confines of the “skinbag” body. Here I respond to Helena De Preester’s analysis of different types of protheses: limb, perceptual, cognitive. In her paper “Technology and the body: the (im)possibilities of re-embodiment”, she wants to make finer distinctions between extensions and incorporations . Today’s hi-tech developments make this refinement necessary and possible. I respond to the three levels or types of prostheses taking note of the (...) increasing difficulty at each level and express certain worries about cognitively framed notions of bodily experience. (shrink)
One of us coined the notion of an “epistemology engine.” The idea is that some particular technology in its workings and use is seen suggestively as a metaphor for the human subject and often for the production of knowledge itself. In this essay, we further develop the conceptand claim that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological commitments, although suggestive, did not lead him to appreciate the epistemological value of materiality. We also take steps towards establishing how an understanding of this topic can provide the (...) basis for reinterpreting the history of phenomenology. (shrink)
Husserl’s Crisis argues that early modern science, exemplified in Galileo, separates the Lifeworld from a world of science by forgetting its origins in bodily perception on the one side, and the practices which found the science on the other. This essay argues that, rather, by overemphasizing mathematization and underemphasizing instruments or technologies which mediate perception, Husserl creates the division he describes. Positively, through the embodied use of instruments science remains thoroughly immersed in the Lifeworld.
Using the occasion of the publication of a Blackwell anthology in the philosophy of technology, Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition (2003), as a key to the contemporary role of this subdiscipline, this article reviews the current state-of-this-art. Both philosophy of science and philosophy of technology are twentieth century inventions, but each has followed a somewhat different set of philosophical traditions and pursued sometimes divergent questions. Here the primary developments of recent philosophy of technology are examined with emphasis upon issues (...) which might also be of greater interest to philosophers of science. These include epistemological, but also environmental and cultural issues. The bibliographical spread includes references to some fifty recent books in the field. (shrink)
Book Symposium on Don Ihde’s Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0060-5 Authors Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Farimagsgade 5 A, Room 10.0.27, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark Larry A. Hickman, The Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA Robert Rosenberger, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, DM Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0345, USA Robert C. Scharff, University of New (...) Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Don Ihde, Stony Brook University, Harriman Hall 221, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
As societies become increasingly technologised, the need for careful and critical assessment rises. However, attempts to assess or normatively evaluate technological development invariably meet with an antinomy: both structurally and historically, technologies display multistable possibilities regarding uses, effects, side effects and other outcomes. Philosophers, usually expected to play applied ethics roles, often come to the scene after these effects are known. But others who participate at the research and development stages find even more difficulties with prognosis. Recent work on ‘revenge’ (...) effects (Tenner) and negative side effects (Kevles) are examined, as well as several cases of philosophers in ‘R&D’ roles. After sketching the antinomy,I outline a heuristic pragmatics of prognosis that addresses this quandary. (shrink)
Examination is made of a range of cyborg solutions to bodily problems due to damage, but here with particular reference to aging. Both technological and animal implants, transplants and prosthetic devices are phenomenologically analyzed. The resultant trade-off phenomena are compared to popular culture technofantasies and desires and finally to human attitudes toward mortality and contingency. The parallelism of resistance to contingent existence and to becoming a cyborg is noted.
Here what I would like to accomplish is to set something of the stage from which the growing recognition of what I shall now term technoscience’s visualism —a term which can accommodate both sciences and engineering, and both imaging and design practices—takes its recognition. I shall very briefly look at the ‘godfathers and peers’ who help set this stage, and then proceed to an examination of a few moments in the development of visualism from da Vinci to computer assisted design (...) (CAD) and beyond. (shrink)
This article starts with an autobiographical reflection in which I first trace how close I came to doing my Ph.D. studies with Herbert Marcuse when he was at Brandeis University; then follows my early post-Ph.D. work which continued to use critical theorists in teaching, later following a growing disillusionment with the implicit elitism of many critical theory authors. Then I turn to deeper philosophical reasons for my divergence from critical theory by introducing the notion of “shelf-life,” and argue that much (...) Marxist and neo-Marxist work is today outdated, or has reached limits of its shelf-life. (shrink)
Postphenomenology, in a complementary role with other science studies disciplines, remains within the trajectory of those theories which reject early modern epistemology and metaphysics, including rejection of ‘subject’–‘object’ distinctions, and holds, instead, to an inter-relational, co-constitutive ontology. Here the critiques which sometimes echo vestiges of such early modern epistemology are counter-challenged.
This collection of essays is a philosophical reflection on and critique of human experience from a clearly American perspective guided by phenomenological analysis. This book is divided into three parts.
This book provides an introduction to postphenomenology, an emerging school of thought in the philosophy of technology and science and technology studies, which addresses the relationships users develop with the devices they use.
Within the Euro-American community of philosophers relating hermeneutics to science there is a considerable disagreement about where hermeneutics may be located. The older traditions hold that hermeneutics apply to and are limited to the social, cultural, and historical dimensions of science. But newer approaches claim that hermeneutics applies to the very praxis of science and to the constitution of scientific objects. This paper sides with the latter perspective and argues that a tendency to retain vestigial positivist interpretations of science keeps (...) the older tradition from seeing hermeneutics as deeply embedded in science praxis. After arguing this point historically, I turn to a hermeneutic recuperation of science, first by drawing from the hermeneutic approach of Joseph Rouse, and then by the hermeneutic constructionism of Bruno Latour. I finally turn to what I term technoconstruction in science, particularly in imaging processes, to show concrete cases of the hermeneutic preparation of scientific objects. I conclude that contemporary science has exceeded its earlier modernist framework and now operates in a constructionist-hermeneutic framework. (shrink)
“Reply to My Interlocutors” responds to each contributor, not in order in the text, but in order of issues. Each interlocutor deals with important issues and I situate myself in relation to these. Dealing with Husserl from a twenty-first century position has called for a multiple layered time response, since I find much of his philosophy of science highly outdated. The origins of the various chapters take place over several decades of time.
Today recorded music probably accounts for the single largest category of music listening. This essay seeks to re-frame the usual understanding of the role of that type of music. Here the history and phenomenology of instrumentally mediated musics examines pre-historic instruments and their relationship to skilled, embodied performance, to innovations in technologies which produce multistable trajectories which result in different musics. The ancient relationship between the technologies of archery and that of stringed instruments is both historically and phenomenologically examined. This (...) narrative is then paralleled by a similar examination of the history and variations upon recorded and then electronically produced music. The interrelation of music-technologies-and embodiment underlies this interpretation of musical production. (shrink)
This essay argues that with respect to trends in Euro-American philosophy there has been a growing disparity between practices on the Continent and North America with respect to technoscience studies. Whereas in, particularly northern European circles, a new canon of topics and authors has risen to prominence with respect to science and technology studies, this same interest is virtually lacking in the institutional programs of North American continental circles. Reasons for the lack of interest in science and technology in North (...) American continentalism are explored. The disparities between Europe and North America include temporal dimensions in which science and technology is read anachronistically in continental circles in North America; canonical dimensions in which different authors are read; and contextual dimensions regarding where technoscience studies occur. There are, however, problem sets such as ''realism and relativism,'' ''relations of humans and non-humans,'' and roles of ''textuality'' which could be seen as overlapping interest areas. The essay attempts to locate and introduce the issues and authors of this ''other'' continentally interesting philosophy and recommends that Euro-American philosophers in North America begin to catch up with the newer trends. (shrink)