Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 321.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
 From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi (28)
Subject: Albert Borgmann and "Technology and the Character of
 From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi (45)
Subject: INTERVIEW with Prof. Don Ihde in relation to Matrix
 From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi (221)
Subject: Useful articles & books by Don Ihde, Philosophy, SUNY
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 08:03:50 +0100
From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi
Subject: Albert Borgmann and "Technology and the Character of
Dear Humanist scholars,
"How can one experience onself as an integral part of nature - not at a
conceptual level, but as an actual experience."
"How have we lost the experience of our connection with nature."
I would encourage every member interested in these questions to get a copy
of Albert Borgmann's book "Technology and the Character of Contemporary
Life: A Philosophical Inquiry" It's published by University of Chicago
Press in paperback.
Borgmann's thesis is that as we increasingly take up with the world
through our work, leisure activities and family time, in a technological
manner, our capacities as human beings atrophy and our experiences of the
world are diminished. His analysis is much richer and insightful than I
He welcomes the expansion of technologies that ease human suffering,
eradicate disease and lift the drudgery of skillless burdensome labor from
workers. He's also interested in technology that sharpens human
experiences of the world such as new materials for musical instruments.
There's no list of appropriate or inappropriate technologies. Instead, he
arms the reader with a set of concepts that give one the eyes to see what
is gained and what is lost when one opts to jog on a treadmill in one's
living room rather than being a moving body through a landscape; reckoning
with the wind, the inclines; the riches and challenges associated with the
Comments, thoughts and criticisms are appreciated!!
-------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 08:04:27 +0100 From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: INTERVIEW with Prof. Don Ihde in relation to Matrix Project
Dear Humanist Scholars,
This is the interview with Don Ihde, November 14, 2000 in relation to Matrix Project. Participants: Don Ihde, Evan Selinger, Srikanth Mallavarapu, Jari Joergensen, Robb Eason, Nikos Plevris, and Jeremy W. Hubbell.
OPENING EXCERPT: ----------------- ES: Don, you have a background in Continental philosophy; but if one does a quick survey of works being published in Continental philosophy today, one finds very little on either the topics of science or technology. Even if one finds treatments of these issues, they are often very dystopian, presupposing science, technology, and their advancements are somehow encroaching on the lifeworld, damaging more productive forms of living and styles of existence. Why do think that is the case and how is it that you, coming out of a Continental background, seem to be taking a different path?
DI: I think that you are right about it largely or dominantly being the case. There are some people of course who do philosophy of technology out of Continental backgrounds. I suppose the two most prominent would be Andy Feenberg and Albert Borgmann. Andy comes out of critical theory. Albert comes out of a Heideggerian background. I think part of it has to do with a very bad habit. In my estimation this bad habit of Continental philosophy tends to first of all narrowly select some standard set of godfathers, or people who are widely known, and vertically cite them. For example, when it comes to technology, Heidegger and Marcuse are probably still the people who are most talked about in the field. It used to be a wider set, but other people have sort of dropped off. Both of these people tend to be highly dystopian. On the other hand, as you know, the Dutch have been reading American philosophers of technology. They read us as being at least less dystopian than the European forbearers. My own take is that the more I study particulars kinds of technologies, the more dissatisfied I am with traditions that would make vast generalizations about technology, particularly on a dystopian basis. I think technologies can do very bad things; but they can also do very good things.
To read the complete interview with Professor Don Ihde, please point your browser to http://www.sunysb.edu/philosophy/new/research/ihde_2.html
Don Ihde is distinguished professor in the Department of Philosophy, and is also affiliated with the history of science and women's studies programs, at SUNY, Stony Brook. His research tnterests develop around both philosophy of science and technology, with special recent interests in imaging technologies. In addition, work on intercultutral perception and plural cultural patterns form part of the research interest.
Comments are appreciated from the members!
Thank you! Sincerely yours Arun Tripathi
-------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 08:04:55 +0100 From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi <email@example.com> Subject: Useful articles & books by Don Ihde, Philosophy, SUNY Stony Brook
Dear Humanist scholars,
HELLO everyone, it is an exquisite hono(u)r for me to introduce the works of --Don Ihde, who is distinguished professor in the Department of Philosophy, and is also affiliated with the history of science and women's studies programs, at SUNY, Stony Brook. His research tnterests develop around both philosophy of science and technology, with special recent interests in imaging technologies. In addition, work on intercultutral perception and plural cultural patterns form part of the research interest.
And, with this message worth sharing a quote--> Technology can no longer be taken for granted. Its impact on and implications for the social, ethical, political, and cultural dimensions of our world must be considered and addressed. --DON IHDE (Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction)
In my view --Professor Don Ihde is a pleasure to read and explore. Don Ihde, who can be thought of as one of the 'founding fathers' of the growing field of 'technoscience'. Currently, I am doing research on Don Ihde and exploring his art of philosophizing..
Don Ihde had also written a book on philosophy of technology before Bad Homburg, Technics and Praxis: A Philosophy of Technology (1979), but his case differs from that of Carpenter in two respects: he has written several more books, and he is the editor of a philosophy of technology book series published by Indiana University Press. The first book published in that series, Larry Hickman's John Dewey's Pragmatic Technology (1990), shows that Ihde was not interested, in the series, in pushing his own phenomenological approach to philosophy of technology, but is open to a variety of approaches. Ihde's own approach does show up in his later books, Existential Technics (1983), Consequences of Phenomenology (1986), and Technology and the Lifeworld: From Garden to Earth (1990),even in his Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction (1993), though that textbook does present other views. In general, one can say that Ihde's development is a matter of greater depth and clarity in his phenomenological analysis, though Technology and the Lifeworld gives more than a passing nod to the centrality of environmental concerns.
[FROM : ADVANCES IN PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY? COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v4_n1html/DURBIN.html ]
Don Ihde (1979, 1983, 1990, 1993), who is perhaps next only to Mitcham - and possibly Albert Borgmann, to be mentioned in a moment -, has been widely praised by SPT members. His appearances at SPT meetings are only a tiny fraction of the appearances Ihde makes and the talks he gives all over the world. About Ihde, Mitcham says: "[He] not only wrote the first monograph on philosophy of technology in English, he has also produced the most extensive corpus devoted to the subject and has established a book series devoted to philosophy of technology" (1994, 78). On the other hand, Mitcham also raises questions about Ihde: "In light of the importance he gives to technology in human experience, his strong sympathies with pragmatism, and his criticisms of the critics of technology, ...it is not clear to what extent his phenomenological philosophy of technology is truly other than a sophisticated and subtle engineering philosophy of technology" - as opposed to the "humanities philosophy of technology" that Mitcham favors.
[FROM: SPT AT THE END OF A QUARTER CENTURY: WHAT HAVE WE ACCOMPLISHED? Paul T. Durbin University of Delaware http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v5n2/durbin.html ]
From a hermeneutical perspective, Ihde characterizes the "existential import" of technologies in terms of "world reflexivity," which he describes as follows: "Humans interpret their world in terms of some focused interpretation. . . . But because humans are also existentially and necessarily related to what they perceive as their world, they 'bring it close' so that ultimately they also interpret themselves in terms of their world" (Ihde, 1979, p. 64). As a consequence of world reflexivity,a notion that Ihde later expands (Ihde, 1983) ,and because computing technology becomes prominent in many activities, humans tend to interpret themselves in terms of this technology, leading to notions such as "the brain is a computer," and "human intelligence can be simulated by computing machines." Thus, a noticeable effect of this technology is that through processes of self-interpretation and world-reflexivity it affects the views that human users of technology have of themselves and of the world.
[FROM: EXPERIENCING THE WORLD THROUGH INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS Agustin A. Araya, San Jose State University http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v3n2/ARAYA.html ]
Some useful essays authored by Prof. Don Ihde ----------------------------------------------- "How Could We Ever Believe Science is not Political?" http://www.sunysb.edu/philosophy/new/research/ihde_1.html
"If Phenomenology is an Albatross, is Postphenomenology Possible?" http://www.sunysb.edu/philosophy/new/research/ihde_3.html
"Whole Earth Measurements" http://www.sunysb.edu/philosophy/new/research/ihde_4.html
"Why Not Science Critics?" http://www.sunysb.edu/philosophy/new/research/ihde_5.html
"Expanding Hermeneutics" http://www.sunysb.edu/philosophy/new/research/ihde_6.html
PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY, 1975-1995 Don Ihde, State University of New York at Stony Brook http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v1n1n2/ihde.html
Thesis of Don Ihde is discussed in the below abstract --------------------------------------------------------
Can we say something more about the relation that constitutes technology? Perhaps we can use some ideas of the American philosopher of technology, Don Ihde, who has read Martin Heidegger as a scholar of phenomenology and who is also under the influence of pragmatism (Ihde, 1979 and 1983). In his book, Technology and the Lifeworld (1990), he focuses on human-technology relations and the cultural embeddedness of technologies. Following a relativistic ontology he draws a distinction between the "direct bodily and perceptual experiences of others and the immediate environment" and "technologically mediated experiences" (Ihde, 1990, pp. 15 ff.). And he suggestsas I proposed abovethat we look for different degrees of mediation in our technologically textured world.
The position that conceives of technology as instruments to transform something can be blamed as a Cartesian and subjectivist bias. It is supposed that a self or a subject can use a thing as an instrument to effect something in the outer world. But is it reasonable to speak of a subject, if the technological instruments change the status of subjectivity? Who is the subject in an atomic plant? The clear-cut limits between subject and object become disturbed. "Technics is a symbiosis of artifact and user within a human action" (Ihde, 1990, p. 73). The material relation between humans and the world should be conceived as a symbiotic and mediated relation instead of as a divided and instrumental one.
Ihde, Don. 1979. Technics and Praxis: A Philosophy of Technology . Boston: Reidel.
Ihde, Don. 1983. Existential Technics . Albany: State University of New York Press.
Ihde, Don. 1990. Technology and the Lifeworld: From Garden to Earth . Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
[FROM: RELATIONS THAT CONSTITUTE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDIA THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE: TOWARD A SOCIAL PRAGMATIC THEORY OF TECHNICIZATION Werner Rammert, Free University, Berlin http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v4_n3html/RAMMERT.html ]
FOLLOWING ARE SEVERAL BOOKS WRITTEN BY DON IHDE --WHICH IS USEFUL FOR STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS STUDYING THE PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY; ROLE BODY IN TECHNOLOGY AND SEVERAL ISSUES OF PHENOMENOLOGY---->
1. Postphenomenology : Essays in the Postmodern Context (Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy) by Don Ihde, et al (Paperback - August 1995)
2. Expanding Hermeneutics : Visualism in Science (Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology & Existential Philosophy.) by Don Ihde (Paperback - January 1999)
3. Instrumental Realism : Interface Between Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Technology (The Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Technology) by Don Ihde (Editor) (Paperback - May 1991)
4. Experimental Phenomenology : An Introduction by Don Ihde (Paperback - September 1986)
5. Bodies in Technology (Electronic Mediations, V. 5) by Don Ihde (Paperback - January 2002)
6. Philosophy of Technology : An Introduction (Paragon Issues in Philosophy) by Don Ihde (Paperback - January 1993)
7. Technology and the Lifeworld : From Garden to Earth (Indiana Series in Philosophy of Technology) by Don Ihde (Paperback - May 1990)
8. Descriptions (Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, No 11) by Don Ihde, Hugh J. Silverman (Paperback - November 1985)
9. Experimental Phenemenology by Don Ihde
10. Consequences of Phenomenology by Don Ihde
Expanding Hermeneutics" by Don Ihde ((Excerpt))
The late twentieth century seems marked by a deep intellectual discomfort about the ways in which Western thought generally has framed its ways of understanding the World. One symptom of this dis-ease revolves around the current philosophical debates which see either a dramatic end to, or a winding down from 'modernity.' Are we 'postmodern'? 'a-modern'? or, were we, as Bruno Latour claims, never modern to begin with? In this contribution to the closing of the first "Hermeneutics and Science" meeting, I shall be using this context to re-interpret both hermeneutics and science...
Details of the book "Instrumental Realism" written by Don Ihde (Publication date: 1991, 174 pages, Indiana Press) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- The book discusses --the Interface between Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Technology
"Ihde is perhaps uniquely situated to provide authoritative accounts of such diverse philosophical traditions as those involved in current explorations of the technology of scientific instruments. . . . 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 such an approach offers a mutually illuminating overlap with a philosophy of technology; and to examine comparatively and critically the work of some who advocate an "instrumental realist" approach to the philosophy of science.
Details about the book, "EXPERIMENTAL PHENOMENOLOGY -An Introduction" written by Don Ihde (155 pages, June 1986, State University of New York Press) --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 struct ure 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 d rawings, 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.
"...the unencumbered style of the book and prolific use of concrete examples makes the content accessible both to the beginning student of philosophy and to the intelligent layman." -- Review of Metaphysics
"An important and much needed contribution to the field of phenomenological philosophy." -- Choice
Details about the book, "EXISTENTIAL TECHNICS" written by Don Ihde (A volume in the SUNY series in Philosophy, Robert C. Neville, editor, 190 pages June 1983 , State University of New York Press) -----------------------------------------------------------------------
With Existential Technics, Don Ihde advances his reflections on the role technology plays in human life. Heretofore primarily the province of Continental thinkers, philosophy of technology is a growing preoccupation of Nort h American philosophers. 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. The first, technics, deals with human interaction with technology and its existential effects. The remaining sections on perception and interpretation examine the imaginative use of phenomenology in the visual and auditory realms of art, music, and intercultural perceptions, and are followed by discussions of contemporary hermeneutics and deconstruction theory, particularly in the thought of Heidegger and Derrida.
If any member/scholar would like to know more on the research of "philosophy of technology" or if any member interested in the philosophy of Don Ihde --then please contact Professor Don Ihde at <Don.Ihde@sunysb.edu> or people can also send me their e-mail message at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Comments and criticisms are always appreciated!
Enjoy the Embodiment!
Warmest regards, Arun Tripathi
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