Thursday, July 14, 2016

Some Important Concepts in the Philosophy of Technology

(Plenary Lecture, 6th Social Ethics Society Conference, Secdea Resort, 2016)

This paper will be a short exposition of some of the most important concepts in the philosophy of technology: Enframing, Actor Network Theory, the Megamachine, Artificial Intelligence, and the Device paradigm. The paper will conclude with the Critical Theory of Technology.

1. Enframing

For Martin Heidegger, the relation between modern technology and humans appears to be a technical one. Technology is firstly a means to an end. It can be roughly described in terms of the efficiency of devices. But Heidegger finds this description inadequate. Modern technology, for Heidegger, in fact, is a mode of revealing. Man, he says, is entrapped in this mode of being in the world which he calls Gestell or Enframing.