Media and Technology; Philosophical Perspectives
Full course description
Discussions about the changes media and technology bring to culture, and whether these are to be judged good or bad, are as old as philosophy itself. Examining the ideas of Plato, Kierkegaard, and Marx we will see how these debates have evolved over the centuries. With the development and spread of media and technology in the 20th and 21st century, debates about the relationship between the social and the technical have intensified and so it has become necessary to consider a variety of approaches to this relationship.
In this course, we will concentrate on a number of philosophical approaches that help us understand the relationship between media and technology and our lived exeperience. We will discuss media theory (McLuhan, Innis, Kittler) and discuss whether specific technologies and media, like writing and print, provoke structural changes in patterns of thought, action and experience. We will also deal with the critical philosophies of technology in the Marxist tradition (Marcuse; Feenberg), the hermeneutic tradition (Heidegger; Ihde) and the feminist tradition (Cockburn) as well as contemporary debates about speed, ethics, labour, and non-Western ideas about technology. These topics encourage us to think about how, to paraphrase the historian Melvin Kranzberg, media and technology are neither good nor bad nor are they neutral. Across these philosophical approaches we will also consider a variety of different media and technical artifacts, including AI,health care technologies, files, the alphabet, and education.
- To introduce students to a number of central themes in the philosophy of media and technology.
- To investigate what is at stake in different philosophical methodologies and approaches to media and technology
At least one 2000-level Humanities course
- Readers in Reading Room.
- Books in Reading Room
- Online sources