Notes for Don Ihde Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction

Key concepts: designer fallacy, device paradigm, focal thing, lifeworld technologies, plurivision, social determinism, technology blooms.

Do with computing what Floridi has done with information, Ihde with technology, Mitcham with Engineering. Philosophy of technology a latecomer in American philosophy, but we come first preposition operator PHI philosophy of computing.

Related theorists: Bacon, Descartes, Dewey, Ellul, Galileo, Habermas, Hegel, Heidegger, Kapp, Marcuse, Marx, Price, Strato.

Doubt he mentions free, open source software. Does that invalidate his position? Of course not. Does it leave weaknesses? Probably not. Does it therefore fail to encourage programming? That is the real question. Of course if he has a newer edition and does actively promote practicing programming, as Johnson redeems Computer Ethics fourth edition.


Current task is to move on to correct neglect of technology in philosophical history.

(xi) Were one to do this [read it from beginning to end] he or she would find that there is a kind of running narrative which constitutes a general argument about why so much of philosophical history has neglected technology and why this neglect should be corrected.

Desire for humanities component in introductory philosophy; why not in technology studies as well, as I recall having such a course? His cast of characters, noting also gender resolution with “one” by “he or she” versus others who alternate gender by chapter, flipping a coin to start. A permanent edition to all writing machines guaranteed by the GPL would be such a program, like injecting into HTML and image files as well.

(xi) Many teachers of philosophy would like to at least expose beginning students to the thinking of our ancestors, and philosophical giants. . . . I am giving an excuse to the instructor to supplement the narrative with bits of the “classics,” Plato, Marx, Bacon, Descartes, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, are all alluded to.

Unthought ancient philosophy in technology blooms for which I have named many authors and texts as well.

(xii) But, associated with these “technology blooms,” are other philosophical authors who are seldom read in standard classes—yet many of them are very interesting. Archimedes, Aristarchus, Stratos, and Francis Bacon, all might just turn out to be interesting to the instructor as well as to the student.

Here is where to include FOSS if doing an update or adapting.

(xii) Chapters 3, 4, and 5 bring us into the contemporary world. They outline problems which can be discussed and debated.

Interesting epistemological image of magical device like self-deforming mold/sieve expressed by Deleuze.

(xii) Such a short introduction can only do so much—it is intended as a kind of net thrown out to cover the territory, but it also includes guiding threads within its interwoven cloth, which are meant to suggest different areas of possible deeper exploration and development.

Lucky moving to other side of world or traveling versus stasis of Socrates in the local campus network.

(xii) Much of the multicultural background material which is referred to here and in recent works arises out of non-Euro-American travels and experiences.

Make philosophy of computing necessary like Ihde technology should be my goal and niche.

(xiii) One thing is clear: technology can no longer be taken for granted. It must be addressed. And this is presumably one reason why the philosophy of technology enters this series as a new field of philosophical inquiry.


Noted in early reading as why Ihde is important to my work: he addresses the philosophy of technology, which intersects computing.

(3) One of the enigmas to be addressed revolves around why the philosophy of technology arrives so very late in the history of Western, and particularly North American philosophy.


Modern science starts in the past, well covered by philosophy; presents an informative prehistory to pick up with Misa. Imagine making virtual reality portals as part of an enormous simulation game like the Macy conferences. Consider how both learning and critical thinking may be transformed in such an environment, a truly useful application of VR and appropriate object of electronic literature.

(5) Modern Science, however, does not mean twenty-first or even twentieth century science—rather it means the historical roots of the Modern Era which for philosophy and science in turn means the Renaissance and following.
(7) The Hellenic period of our ancient history was a time of great
technological and experimental development and comes the closest in ancient times to anticipating anything like modern science.

First treatise on engineering attributed to ancient philosopher Strato: the modernist tradition must look back this far, at least, in studying of its origins, as well as consider its embodiment in Islamic science, where instrumental embodiment developed, prior to the Renaissance and Enlightenment formally ushering in modernity and finally technology.

(8) The first treatise on “mechanics,” usually attributed anachronistically and wrongly to Aristotle, was most likely written by the Hellenic thinker, Strato (d. 269 B.C.), and is the first treatise on engineering.

Importance of Islamic science preserving classical thought as well as developing instrumentally embodied science.

(9) This other development in the history of Western technoscience came from an unexpected source: Islam. Muhammad (570-632) began this religio-cultural movement in the very height of the European dark period. What remained of Greek and Hellenic thought was often preserved by Islamic science. By the ninth century there was a flourishing development of Islamic science, including the development of an instrumentally embodied science.
(11) And in the two-century “pluralist” period in Spain, Moors, Jews, and Christians collaborated in intellectual ventures which gradually leaked the scientific concerns of the ancients back into European thought.

Could it be argued, for the game, that a lot of energy was wasted disagreeing with Aristotle, like reverse engineering proprietary objects and systems? Temper Clark's praise of RE.

Theme of early inventors disagreement with Aristotle; nonetheless by machines whose designs were recovered from Roman, Hellenic, Asian sources earth began to be transformed.

(11) In short, while the early inventors of Modern Science were passionately interested in a science of nature, their direction later was one which often took as its theme, disagreement with Aristotle.
(12) The cities, the cathedrals, the draining of the Lowlands of northern Europe were made possible by ever larger and larger
machines such as cranes, wind and water mills, and devices using simple physical principles, some of which had been recovered from Roman and Hellenic, but also Asian, sources.
(13) But with Kant, the task of philosophy in the critical role became that of interpreter, critic, and appreciator of some field or other.

Philosophy transitions from engineering to interpreter; thus OGorman urges digital humanities scholars to pick up soldering irons.

(13) Here was the latent beginning of the next transformation, the invention of “philosophies of...


Do with computing what Floridi has done with information, Ihde with technology, Mitcham with Engineering. The time for computing remains impending, and I want to fill that niche with those I identify as precursors through the set of texts for the third exam.

(14) Hegel quite explicitly began to do “philosophy of...” (in German, of course, the preposition “of” does not occur. But Geschitesphilosophie or Religionsphilosophie, both terms used by Hegel, when translated into English become “philosophy of history,” and “philosophy of religion”). Following the above characterization, a “philosophy of...” looks at a subject matter and thematically, critically interprets it and analyzes it.

Philosophy of technology a latecomer in American philosophy, but we come first preposition operator PHI philosophy of computing.

Connects Kapp and Bunge but argues philosophy of technology has only gained disciplinary recognition in the 1970s.

(14) Interestingly, in Europe this included at least one foray into Tecknikphilosophie, a book by the neo-Hegelian, Ernst Kapp, in 1877! Yet, it was to be nearly 100 years later that philosophy of technology became a recognizable characterization within philosophy in North America.

(15) science had attained a kind of success and ascendancy which it had not had heretofore. And contrarily, philosophy, particularly in the proliferation of “systems” of metaphysics, had reached a kind of impasse. Both neo-Kantians and neo-Hegelians dominated the universities and, while very busy developing vast systems of metaphysical interpretation, had retreated into a kind of grandiose academic self-enclosure.
(15) The sciences, on the other hand, were beginning to be of service to both a whole range of “applied” disciplines, and were implicated in the development of the Industrial Revolution.

Philosophy and humanities missed a chance to evolve synergetically with science during Industrial Revolution, leading to crisis in philosophy from which emerged problem-centered, particular problems focus which forms focus of projects to Boltanski and Chiapello.

(16) This apparent success of the children of philosophy—the sciences—compared to the apparent dead end of proliferating and conflicting metaphysical systems brought about what many early twentieth-century philosophers called a crisis for philosophy. . . [for] Pragmatism, Positivism, and Phenomenology.
(17) Descending from the “heights” of metaphysics, philosophy in the form of the “three P's” became engaged in
problem-centered, particular problems.


Explain why modern technology is fundamentally better as evolutionary result of Clark supersized mind model, including instrumentality and other concertized affordances; Misa gives substance to argument why it is an outcome of economies of scale, and Castells more cultural specific Zizekian deformations.

(19) The first prejudice is the most ancient and deepest—it is the prejudice which links both philosophy and science to theory in an exaggerated way.
(20) It [the second] is a prejudice which holds that Modern Technology is both essentially different from all ancient or traditional technologies, and therefore in some fundamental sense, “better.”
(20) It [the third prejudice] is the belief that Modern Technology has, as one of its major differences from all other technologies, been
largely derived from Modern Science.
(22) Insofar as both the dualism of body/mind and the valuation of material/immaterial pervades Platonism it also colored much of the history of philosophy/science itself.


Aesthetics-bound engineering in Greek examples; contrast Galileo experimentalism.

(23) Thus Pythagorean tuning elevate a five-tone scale which matched the proper proportions of mathematical harmonics according to Greek aesthetic sensibility, and the construction of columns on temples, making them tilt in such a way as to seem upright parallels in perspectival correctness, but in actual construction angled, illustrate this aesthetics-bound engineering.
(25) Galileo was among the first of the Europeans to make a
technologically embodied science in his use of instruments and experimental devices for experiment. Galileo was not a Greek speculator, but a Modern prototype for technoscience.
(28) What may not have been obvious in the Baconian change, however, is that power must be applied in order to have knowledge—that was what was implicit in the experimental and technological notion of early Modern Science.

Interesting the Gee gives the example of incorrect assumptions about force in physics; here power metaphorically includes instrumentally embodied cognition further leveraging affordances of built environment, and indirect leverage of Bacon evoking devices.

Curious that Turkle uses similar term of evocative objects, as if new developments arising from modern technology.

(28) Beyond the use of telescopes and inclined planes (Galileo), Bacon lists some twenty-seven kinds of experiments and the instrumental devices which go with them, including what he called “evoking deviceswhich aid perception but also get at previously unperceived phenomena, “reduce the non-sensible to the sensible: that is, make manifest, things not directly perceptible, by means of others which are.” Here we begin to have the makings of a science/technology linkage which only much later will become a major theme in philosophy of technology.

Traditional philosophy favors Descartes over Bacon, for which Ihde argues in consequence the instrumental and technical sides of scientific practice overlooked; they are overlooked in favor of the logic, and ignorant of material modes of production shaped by technologies, and finally role of cultural and social knowledge in forming (informing) technologies; saved by praxis philosophers like Marx, leading to Kuhn and modern history and philosophy of science and technology studies.

(29) It was Descartes who introduced the long-historied worries over whether or not we could be fooled by cleverly conceived automatons, which are, after all, only motioned versions of Plato's same worries over painted statuary. The dominant strands of philosophy usually tend to read Descartes over Bacon, but for the very reason much of the instrumental and technological side of actual scientific practice is overlooked.
(29) First, Marx can be thought of as one of the primary inventors of a
praxis philosophy, that is, a type of philosophy which reevaluates theory and relates theory to more basic levels of action and materiality.
(30) The second idea which Marx introduced, and the one which relates philosophy quite directly to technology, is that among the various material forces which need to be reflected upon are the
material modes of production which are, in turn, shaped by technologies.
(31) This
praxis-centered, mode-of-production analysis of society was to be one of the primary sources for one side of what would become philosophy of technology. Technology had become, in Marx, not a background, but a foreground issue.
(32) The full mobilization of nations to produce radar . . . and, eventually, the Manhattan Project to produce the atomic bomb . . . followed on the heels of the social changes of the Industrial Revolution, making technology as a force too important to overlook. European philosophers, particularly, began to make technology and technological civilization a primary theme of their reflections.
(32) Among these early philosophers interested in technology [Nicolas Berdyayev, Jose Ortega y Gasset, Heidegger, Dewey], it must be said that much of the European reaction to technology was
(33) A third thinker, Jurgen
Habermas, took a less totally negative tack with respect to technology, although he continued to follow a neoMarxian trajectory.

Threats of autonomous technology, subsumption of all other styles into calculative thinking, docile social control, and technocratic consciousness dominant philosophical positions prior to Ihde epoch; add Foucault to Habermas, Ellul, Marcuse.

(33) Technology was taken by both Ellul and Marcuse as a term which associated with calculative and analytic thinking, a kind of twentieth century technological style which threatened to subsume all other styles. Technology, also taken to have become autonomous and no longer under human control, aimed towards a totalization of its form.
(34) The genius of the technological society's new form of control, which Marcuse contends is a new form of totalitarianism, is to have found a way of controlling society without repression.
(37) [quoting Habermas
Toward a Rational Society] Thus technology and science become a leading productive force, rendering inoperative the conditions for Marx's labor theory of value. . . . In consequence of the two tendencies . . . capitalist society has changed to the point where two key categories of Marxian theory, namely class struggle and ideology, can no longer be employed as they stand.

Habermas technocratic consciousness of late capitalist technology.

(37) What emerges in this societal form of late capitalist technology is what Habermas called “technocratic consciousness: “The leading productive force—controlled scientific-technical progress itself—has now become the basis of legitimation.”

(38) But for a clearer beginning of the philosophy
of technology, I turn to the early part of the twentieth century and two different, but related seminal thinkers: Martin Heidegger (Germany, 1889-1976) and John Dewey (United States, 1859-1952).
(39-40) Heidegger argued that our primary relations to a world or experience environment were not first conceptual, but praxical, bodily relations which are exemplified in ordinary activity.

Heidegger foregrounds invisibility of technology and its systemic rootedness.

(40) What is important to note, however, in this early insight, is that technology plays a role in this primal human experience of an environment, but in such a way that it is both taken-for-granted and in such a way that it may appear to be functionally (if functioning well) virtually invisible.
(41) Technology with the “T” became a systematic way of seeing the world.

Dewey modeled philosophy on technological model of inquiry.

(42) It could be said that Dewey was the first to model philosophy itself upon a technological model of inquiry.
(43) Looking at the entirety of the history of philosophy, and of science in this way, Dewey was led to lower the distinction between both philosophy and science and the instrumental or a
technological mode of practice.
(44-45) But among the first to systematically begin to relate philosophy and technology, were two sympathizers for Dewey, but also for Ellul, Carl Mitcham and Paul Durbin. . . . a formal organization only in 1983 when the Society for Philosophy and technology was organized.
(45) In short, from the 1970s on, philosophy of technology began to take its place alongside the other “philosophies of...” which characterize much of the contemporary philosophical thrust for critique and analysis.

Anglo-American analytic philosophy of science tradition unconcerned with technology, but phenomenological, pragmatist, and political traditions foreground technology.

(46) But our [American] philosophers of technology, while clearly making technology a foreground issue, have often been critical and guarded toward its modern ramifications.


Strong definition of technology significantly more narrower and descriptive than calculative and rational techniques, including requirements of concrete, praxical components and inclusive of relations to humans, thus historically situated and culturally embedded.

(47) First, we shall insist that a technology must have some concrete component, some material element, to count as a technology. And second, a technology must enter into some set of praxes--”uses”--which humans may make of these components. And, third, we shall take as part of the definition, a relation between the technologies and the humans who use, design, make, or modify the technologies in question.
(47) It is considerably narrower than the definitions which make technology equivalent to any calculative or rational
(50) Technologies will be seen to be deeply
culturally embedded.

(51) This
non-neutral, transformative power of humans enhanced by technologies is an essential feature of the human-technology relations we shall examine.

Include Clark extended mind and Hayles examples for explicit connection to texts and technology.

(53-54) If all technologies, ancient or modern, minimal or maximal, have implications for some range of environmental territory, the philosophical problem will be to isolate what are the variable and the invariable features of these transformations. Moreover, the analysis must be one which takes into account, not one, but several dimensions of the phenomenon: (a) the nature of the various technologies involved, (b) the relation or range of relations to the humans who use (and design or modify or even discard) them, and (c) the cultural context into which ensembles fit and take shape.


(55) I shall take in this history, three variables to illustrate technological revolutions: (a) time technologies, (b) space technologies, and (c) language technologies. I chose these quite deliberately since they are all abstractions which will allow us to relate technological development much more closely to the stories of science and philosophy.
(58-59) Yet the deep technologies just selected [clock, map, writing] had clearly major impacts upon the development of civilization, and are all examples of technologies as ways of seeing, or perceiving in both a deep and yet culturally embedded sense. They are thus close to the issues which will be discussed relating to technological
problems in contemporary understanding. They were, moreover, preconditions for the very rise of philosophy and science as we know it.

Transformation of seeing by clock, map, and writing, fulfilling McLuhan law role of media representing other media, phenomena enmeshed in the world, as in Castells spatialization of time, true instrumentality.

(59) How this could be the case may be noted by seeing what the three technologies chosen have in common with respect to the transformation of seeing. The initial movement entailed in these technologies could be said to be representative, in that the clock, the map, and writing could be taken to represent some other form of activity still enmeshed in more direct modes of action.
(59) I am, of course, suggesting here that these three technologies are
instrumental in more than a metaphorical sense.


Need to reread these sections.



Scientifically derived technology implies idea, representation, explanatory model, design comes first; thus modernism harbors postmodern conditions: the example of plastics is exemplary of the theory, idea, design, prehistory of trials and failed attempts only supportable by huge corporations and institutions, model coming first; Ihde does not draw out these themes in his discussion of postmodernism at the end of chapter three.

(67) Modern Technology, presumably, is scientifically derived technology, or applied science.


Need to reread these sections.

Laboratory machinery is, in effect, a complex writing instrument.

Emergence of corporate structured, big science.

(76-77) Derek de Solla Pricewho also saw in crafting of instruments much of the success story behind science—wrote Big Science, Little Science (1962), for he saw in contemporary science yet another step in the science/technology relation, the emergence of a corporate structured science.

(80) Plastics rather perfectly illustrate the possibilities of
(83) Clearly such technologies
simultaneously provide us with more choices and alternatives than we had previously, but while so doing, there is a much more intense burden placed upon consciousness and deliberate decision making.

(89-90) The one position which today is endangered is the sheerly optimistic and utopian position which was more common in the nineteenth century and which held that what became technoscience, would in a short, foreseeable future, solve all of humankind's problems, introduce a leisure society, and create universal equality.
(93) Postmodernism may be taken as a position which takes
ambiguity as the deep structure of technoculture.
(93) What all of the above positions acknowledge, is that there is a global, environmental crisis which must be addressed. It is the macro-problem of contemporary technoculture.



Explicitly avoids Mumford and Fuller, claiming to focus on critically developed philosophical works, including Marx, Heidegger, Ellul, Marcuse, Ortega y Gassett, Rapp, Goffi, Ferre, Winner, Borgman, and Ihde himself.

(97) Karl Marx and Martin Heidegger both stand out as prominent in turning philosophy to the phenomenon of technology.


Winner social and technological determinism, forms of life.

(100) The social deterministic view is one which sees the development of technology arising largely out of power relations and the decisions of elites, or the groups of people in power. A classic, historical example of such an interpretation involves the early history of the McCormick reaper.
(100) In contrast, technological determinists hold that, once invented, technologies carry with their use a different kind of determinism which reflexively
forms society itself. Karl Marx was, in a limited sense, a forerunner of such a view in his focus upon (technological) modes of production.
Autonomous Technology took as its primary background figures Marx and Ellul. In a contemporary setting, Winner recites an interesting example of how a single technology—the snowmobile—followed a Marxian trajectory in reshaping the entire set of social and human/animal relations of the Lapps.
(102) Here the Marxian insight that a different mode of production results in a different set of social relations is well illustrated.
(102) Technology could become a culture, or—drawing from Wittgenstein—
a form of life.
(102) Forms of life are
gestalts which are often non-linear, but nevertheless recognizable. Winner applied these notions to technological development.
(103) There, then is a mode of analysis for technologies: what are the forms of life which emerge? How are they interrelated? What worlds are made through technologies? To make a technology is not simply to make a tool or an artifact—
it is to make a world.
(104) It is the growth and interconnection of particularly the latter sort of technologies [nuclear power], with the inclination of the operators working these technologies toward often undemocratic patterns of action, which worries Winner and stimulates the questions of limits for high technology.
(105) Technologies are not only forms of life, they are, in the contemporary hi-tech sense, totally expanding forms of life.

(106) But while the modernity which characterizes high technologies is usually associated with the
scientific character of contemporary technology, in Borgmann's case it is the progressivism and implicit optimistic (capitalist) liberalism of modern technology which is focused upon.
(106) According to Borgmann, however, the results are quite different from the promise. The promise seduces the modern
toward a focus upon material goods, commodities, and a deep kind of quantitative thinking which, in turn, leaves the ancient Classical (Greek) and Christian questions of a good (or excellent) life out of the equation.
(106) How technology does this may be seen in the Borgmannian symptamology which emerges in
Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life between the device paradigm and focal things. The contrast between two kinds of “things” echoes much of Heidegger.
(106) One of Borgmann's favored focal things is the
hearth. In its technological history, it could even have been seen as a kind of technology.
(107) In principle, one could see in this analysis [of the hearth] a form of life, the making of a world, and a certain mode of production
a la Marx, Wittgenstein, but particularly Heidegger and his artful mode of techne, with the hearth as a kind of technology/object of art.
(108) If a hearth is a focal thing, what is a device? Borgmann argues that at the heart of modern technology lies a
device paradigm. It embodies the promise of technology to disburden its citizens from what is burdensome. As a counterpart to the hearth, then, central heating plants may be seen as devices. . . . The device reduces, by means of its concealed machinery, everything to a means-ends function.

Borgmann poses existential questions forced by technological utopia Adorno claims is only put off by warfare, blaming the device paradigm versus focal things leading to failures in optimistic promises of capitalist liberalism.

(109) In short, once the calamitous threats of starvation, early death, and ignorance are conquered, does “life [become] ruled at its center by triviality and frivolity?”
(109) Modern technology has failed to live up to its very promises in spite of delivering much of the liberation from toil, disease, and the harshness of pre-Modern life. . . . In short, once the calamitous threats of starvation, early death, and ignorance are conqured, does “life [become] rules at its center by triviality and frivolity?”
(109) It is reformable through the recognition of, revival of, and enhancement of
focal activities.
(109) Two of Borgmann's pet whipping boys are frozen food and “canned” music.
(110) Revivals of the joys of full meal preparation, the almost cult-like activity associated with running, craft developments, and other focal activities can and do, although in limited cases, serve positive purposes and are not contradictory to technological culture.

(111) Chronologically, my
Technics and Praxis (1979) follows closely on the heels of Winner, and Existential Technics (1983) and Technology and the Lifeworld (1990) sandwich both Winner and Borgmann's works. The background for all three books lies in phenomenology in the broad sense, and draws from Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and, of course, Martin Heidegger.

Ihde began with phenomenology of instrumentation and human-technology relations and arrived at magnification/reduction transformation.

(111) I undertook an extensive, but preliminary phenomenology of instrumentation to show a variety of human-technology relations.
(111) Human-technology relations, patterned after a
phenomenological analysis of human intentionality, purport to show what is invariable in the ways humans experience their technologies. For example, embodiment relations are uses of technologies which enhance (and non-neutrally transform) our perceptual-bodily experience of an environment or world.
(111) What emerged from the analysis as a structural feature of instrument use, was what I called a magnification/reduction transformation.

Ihde lifeworld technologies focus on instrument use results in gains and losses in embodiment relations and hermeneutics: this approach seems limited by presupposing transcendental objects that are variously mediated by human perception and instrumentation, missing the point that we have been posthuman for a long time, though goes beyond his point that technologies are culturally embedded; compare to Hayles How We Think and Bogost Alien Phenomenology.

(111-112) If embodiment relations enhance (and reduce) bodily-perceptual experience, hermeneutic (interpretive) relations take another mode of reference to observed objects. Here the analogue is to reading and language rather than sensory perception, and is exemplified in instrumentation which uses various forms of measurement (dials which use numbers or spectra, etc.). The object is still being referred to, but is now translated into a dial reading which indicates some more abstract (and thus more reduced) aspect of the object, such as weight or heat.

Navigation example reminiscent of Suchman.

(113) Human-technology relations—such as those which implicate our bodily-perceptual activities—are structurally crosscultural. . . . But at the same time, technologies in the ensemble are also culturally embedded.
(114) But, I argue, the totalization is
presumptive and at this juncture is beginning to show signs of serious strain which may harbor quite different directions.
(114) the first is the non-avoidable awareness of
Others, i.e., non-Western cultures. . . . secondly, this multicultural undercurrent is itself multiple.

Compare plurivision to Nietzsche multiple perspectives in Levin.

(114) I then argue that what is distinctive about the emergence of a postmodern moment is a different kind of vision—a plurivision, which is symbolized by a kind of insect-like, compound vision.

Metaphor of culinary eclecticism works better than Marx multitalented unalienated worker, though it emphasizes consumption.

(115) The summary metaphor for postmodernity and what it may, but not necessarily can, imply is a culinary one. Today's cosmopolitan world is a culinary eclectic.
(115) Our biggest worries, I am arguing, ought to be
global, first in the sense of concern for the Earth's environment, and second, in finding post-enlightenment means of securing intercultural (and thus also interpolitical and intersocial) modes of tolerance and cultural pluralism.


Is the designer fallacy a shortcoming of hermeneutic phenomenology when it comes to understanding ensembles (networks)?

(116) Nor can one philosophically be restricted to some simple set of objective classifications of technologies as to type. This is particularly the case with respect to what I have sometimes called the designer fallacy. Only sometimes are technologies actually used (only) for the purposes and the specified ways for which they were designed.
(117) To control technologies, particularly in the ensemble, is much more like controlling a political system or a culture then controlling a simple instrument or tool, again, particularly in a contemporary high technology setting.


I was troubled by his choice of shows having been reading about ocularcentrism.

(119) I shall be ranking various larger problems to suggest directions of the future of philosophy of technology, and by way of using imaginative variations try to show some of the complexity which each problem set shows.
(124) This [hi-tech reformist] strategy also affirms the necessity of a more centralist, management-model approach. For example, a
world agency to monitor and police energy consumption would be entailed.
(127) I predict that the Gaia hypothesis approach to environmental analysis and problems will rapidly gain ground in the twenty-first century—but not for the usual reasons which might be given.

Influence of using computers in directing attention; compare to Hayles on reciprocity between computing, cognitive science, and neurobiology.

(128) I am thus suggesting that the use of the computer, while not determining a direction, inclines our very inquiry in that direction.

(133) contemporary technoculture is
acidic to all forms of traditional (mono)cultures.

Pluriculture already prevalent.

(135) In short, I am arguing that pluriculturality is already an emergent and modified form of culture which is no longer simply or distinctly Euro-American.


In past years I would have made a big deal about the mistyped non-neturality, suggesting this passage hovers near the unthought of the authors, editors, proofreaders.

(138-139) If Winner is right concerning “artifactual politics,” the very non-neutrality of all technologies and particularly of technology transfer, then the insertion of what, when, and how technology transfer is to occur is one of the most crucial issues for the sociopolitical dimensions of philosophy and technology.


Philosophers need to pick up soldering irons and work at the basic level of research and development where they now dare to tread, beyond the already developed consumer level, doing what McGann calls poiesis-as-theory; therefore also philosophy must learn to operate at developmental level of computing systems, devices, and so on, for which goal my approach seems well suited.

(140) But it is to suggest that the place and position for genuinely helping change is at a much more basic level—it is at the level of development itself, particularly of technological development. Here few philosophers dare to tread.
(141) I am thus suggesting that in a contemporary technoscience environment, one important future direction for philosophy of technology ought to be aimed at the research and development level and not only at the already developed and status quo level.

Ihde, Don. Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction. New York: Paragon House, 1993. Print.