Philosophy of technology is gaining recognition as an important field of philosophical scrutiny. This essay addresses the import of philosophy of technology in two ways. First, it seeks elucidate the place of technology within ontology, epistemology, and social/political philosophy. I argue technology inhabits an essential place in these fields. The philosophy of Henri Bergson plays a central role in this section. Second, I discuss how modern technology, its further development, and its inter-cultural transfer constitute a drive toward a global “hegemony (...) of technology”. The crux of the argument is that the technological impulse within humanity insinuates itself into nearly every aspect of human existence. The structures of the state, the economy, and culture, are each framed by this impulse. In the final analysis, it is argued that only a thorough examination of the intimate connection between humanity and technology can lay the foundation for a comprehensive philosophy of human existence.Why philosophy of technology? Surely there must be experts more qualified to discuss technology...At very least, one would hope that the last few decades of thought have managed to surpass the premise of this question. There is an increasing awareness that humanity has cast in its lot with highly integrated technological systems, as such systems have become absolutely necessary for the continued survival of the current level of world population . Without enormous systems of intensive food production, transportation, and their attendant communication and trade networks, there is no doubt that such population levels would be impossible to sustain. Growing awareness of the potential danger that technological instruments possess if they are misused for political purposes, or if they break down due to wear or sabotage, has thrust technology to the forefront of discourse in the media and across the dinner table. Unfortunately, the discussion has been monopolized by the perceived need to secure ourselves from a potential technological catastrophe. The question of technology is dominated by concerns with how we can control the potential misuse of technology by putting in place more intensive technical means of surveillance, monitoring and preemptive action. This growing consciousness has in no way disclosed the true subtlety of the meaning and status of technology in our current historical milieu let alone for humanity. In this essay I will explore the import of philosophy of technology and elucidate a number of levels of approach that must be explored and integrated if we are to understand the ramifications of technology. Ultimately, the justification for philosophy of technology is beyond both pragmatic and utilitarian reasoning. Instead, I argue that any philosophy that ignores this essential element of the human condition is fundamentally flawed and intrinsically incomplete. What follows will begin by situating philosophy of technology with reference to how our existence is inextricably entwined Essays in Philosophy with technology. The argument is grounded in the philosophical works of Henri Bergson. I will then turn to concrete issues concerning technology and culture, specifically, how cultures are subverted by the introduction of technologies through both intra-cultural development and inter-cultural transfer. The most topical thinkers addressed in this part will be Don Ihde and Andrew Feenberg.1 My thesis is that technologies are polyvalent both within and across cultural contexts. Despite the fact that the introduction of a new technology may be ambivalent to technological hegemony, it in no way threatens the hegemony of technology. (shrink)
Bergson never dared to entitle his own work in such a fashion. However, his philosophical contribution on the workings of intelligence deserves such a high title. This article seeks to elucidate Bergson's contribution to philosophy in terms of his anticipation of several developments in human understanding. The work begins by investigating the relation between thought and the world (reality) by reviewing a series of constructivist concepts. In many ways, constructivism is related to both structuralism and post-structuralism, however this work does (...) not seek to detail these interrelations in any overt way. Instead, these concepts lay the groundwork for a review of Bergson's discussion of intellect in relation to life, psyche, and modern physics. Central concepts include limitation, circularity, and complementarity. Ultimately, the article seeks to display how Bergson's work is not only a precursor to constructivism but lays the foundation for a modified constructivism that can achieve a rigorous philosophical level. The proposed ground for the intellect is in the organic. Such an epistemological foundationalism would ultimately justify an evolutionary epistemology, in that, the structuring of the organic is evolving and thus the structuring of intellect would likewise evolve. Clarifying such an epistemology may aid in developing Delueze's an-organic bergsonism. (shrink)
There is a section in Samuel Delany’s magnificent autobiographical meditation, The Motion of Light in Water, that dramatically raises the problem of writing the history of difference, the history, that is, of the designation of “other,” of the attribution of characteristics that distinguish categories of people from some presumed norm.1 Delany recounts his reaction to his first visit to the St. Marks bathhouse in 1963. He remembers standing on the threshold of a “gym-sized room” dimly lit by blue bulbs. The (...) room was full of people, some standing, the rest an undulating mass of naked, male bodies, spread wall to wall. My first response was a kind of heart-thudding astonishment very close to fear. I have written of a space at certain libidinal saturation before. That was not what frightened me. It was rather that the saturation was not only kinesthetic but visible.2Watching the scene establishes for Delany a “fact that flew in the face” of the prevailing representation of homosexuals in the 1950s as “isolated perverts,” as subjects “gone awry.” The “apprehension of massed bodies” gave him a “sense of political power”:what this experience said was that there was a population—not of individual homosexuals … not of hundreds, not of thousands, but rather of millions of gay men, and that history had, actively and already, created for us whole galleries of institutions, good and bad, to accommodate our sex. [M, p. 174] 2. Samuel R. Delany, The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965 , p. 173; hereafter abbreviated M. Joan W. Scott is professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She is the author, most recently, of Gender and the Politics of History and is currently at work on a history of feminist claims for political rights in France during the period 1789-1945 as a way of exploring arguments about equality and difference. (shrink)
Biologists study life in its various physical forms, while philosophers of biology seek answers to questions about the nature, purpose, and impact of this research. What permits us to distinguish between living and nonliving things even though both are made of the same minerals? Is the complex structure of organisms proof that a creative force is working its will in the physical universe, or are existing life-forms the random result of an evolutionary process working itself out over eons of time? (...) What moral and social questions arise regarding modern advances in biotechnology? What is more relevant to human nature: genetics or sociocultural influences? Is Darwinism the death-knell of God? These are just some of the vital questions addressed by a distinguished group of philosophers and scientists which includes: Aristotle, Francisco J. Ayala, , Michael Benton, Tom Bethell, Joe Cain, David Castle, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Michael Denton, A.G.N. Flew, Stephen Jay Gould, J.B.S. Haldane, John F. Haught, D. W. E. Hone, James W. Kirchner, James Lovelock, Jane Maienschein, Ernst Mayr, Gregory M. Mikkelson, Leslie Orgal, William Paley, the Prince of Wales, Christopher Pynes, Richard A. Richards, Mark Ridley, Holmes Rolston III, Michael Ruse, Lee Silver, Elliott Sober, Kim Sterelny, Derek Turner, and Edward O. Wilson. This second edition contains material on design without selection, testing macroevolutionary claims, recent biotechnological issues, key ecological concerns, the Gaia hypothesis, genetically modified foods, and the so-called intelligent design movement. (shrink)
In this international and interdisciplinary collection of critical essays, distinguished contributors examine a crucial premise of traditional readings of Plato's dialogues: that Plato's own doctrines and arguments can be read off the statements made in the dialogues by Socrates and other leading characters. The authors argue in general and with reference to specific dialogues, that no character should be taken to be Plato's mouthpiece. This is essential reading for students and scholars of Plato.
We analyse the tensions in a hybrid collaboration and how these are mitigated using boundary-spanning community impact, leading to compatibility between distinctive institutional logics. Our qualitative longitudinal study undertaken during 2011–2016 involved reviewing literature and archival data, key informant interviews, workshop and focus groups. We analysed common themes within the data, relating to our two research questions concerning how and why hybrids collaborate, and how resulting tensions are mitigated. The findings suggest a viable model of service delivery termed hybridized collaboration (...) in which the inherent tensions from different institutional logics do not prevent success. Paradoxically, multiple logics are a basis for the partnership’s existence, but the ability to achieve different and occasionally conflicting aims simultaneously can be difficult, resulting in tensions. We offer two novel insights. First, we highlight how social enterprise hybrids collaborate locally and in multi-organizational relationships. We found that the initial opportunity to collaborate was catalysed by the existence of shared objectives. Pre-existing relationships between organizations, and the existence of synergistic capabilities also influence the choice of partners. Secondly, we identify how tensions arise, and are mitigated via several factors including the pre-existing relationships, allowing for regular “spaces of negotiation” between collaborators, the shared social mission, community social impact, the resulting public relations, and shared resources and knowledge. (shrink)
Background Psychological practitioners often seek to directly change the form or frequency of clients' maladaptive perfectionist thoughts, because such thoughts predict future depression. Indirect strategies, such as self-compassion interventions, that seek to change clients' relationships to difficult thoughts, rather than trying to change the thoughts directly could be just as effective. This study aimed to investigate whether self-compassion moderated, or weakened, the relationship between high perfectionism and high depression symptoms in both adolescence and adulthood. Methods The present study utilised anonymous (...) self-report questionnaires to assess maladaptive perfectionism, depression, and self-compassion across two samples covering much of the life-span. Questionnaires were administered in a high school setting for the adolescent sample, and advertised through university and widely online to attract a convenience sample of adults. Results Moderation analyses revealed that self-compassion reduced the strength of relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depression in our adolescent Study 1 and our adult study 2. Limitations Cross-sectional self-reported data restricts the application of causal conclusions and also relies on accurate self-awareness and willingness to respond to questionnaire openly. Conclusions The replication of this finding in two samples and across different age-appropriate measures suggests that self-compassion does moderate the link between perfectionism and depression. Self-compassion interventions may be a useful way to undermine the effects of maladaptive perfectionism, but future experimental or intervention research is needed to fully assess this important possibility. (shrink)