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Philosophy of Technology

  1. How do you think about technology? Is it an object, an activity, a field of knowledge, or is it an interpretation of the world? According to Carl Mitcham, we can mean four things when using the word technology:
    • An object: The things, the machines, the systems around us in our social world.
    • An activity: The making, the designing, the using of things, something we do.
    • Knowledge: The know how of knowing how to do things, the know how of the engineer as opposed to the knowing of the scientist.
    • A worldview: A volition, something that has to do with our will, with an interpretation of the world in terms of will and power, as raw material to intervene upon the world.
  2. Is technology neutral or not? Where are you on the Instrumentalism vs. Determinism spectrum?
    • Instrumentalism: Society creates and uses technology only as a tool.
    • Determinism: Technology determines society, it shapes how we live.
  3. Should we consider philosophy of technology as a unity more theoretically, or do you think we should keep the different fields of technology separately when trying to understand the life around us (artificial intelligence > AI ethics; biotechnology and bioengineering > bioethics; life in space > astroethics; autonomous weapons > ethics of wars; etc.)
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These are questions we discussed at Using Foresight‘s latest “Futurists of the World” Clubhouse chat with Victor Sarat Catalan and his guests. This open room was a continuation of Victor’s interview with Sylvia Gallusser from his Twitter Spaces. Sylvia has a fascination with Philosophy, and has been exploring the interception with futures for a while. She wanted to spark a conversation with other like minded people, or with anyone who was listening from the audience.

Read the full recap here, including an audio-only conversation that was held in Clubhouse on October 8th, 2021.


Published by Sylvia

Futurist - Futures Thinking & Strategic Foresight

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