Philosophy of Technology

Course NamePhilosophy of Technology
Course CodePHI285
DescriptionThe aim of this course is to help orient students within the philosophical dimensions of technology and thereby develop an ability to think critically about the nature of technology and its role in our lives and in society. Technology is thought to both expand and stunt our abilities, foment and imperial democracy and enable us to better care for and bring to ruin the world we live in. How can we best analyze and assess such conflicting views? Doing so entails developing a nuanced understanding of the positions held by the leading thinkers who have contributed to the philosophy of technology throughout history. The course will focus on three major sets of questions: (1) What is technology? How do we define it, study it, understand its relation to nature and humanity? (2) What is the relationship between technology and societal concerns such as ethics, politics and the environment? What should we think about this relationship? Where is technology beneficial, and where is it problematic? (3) What is the impact of technology on our lives? Does it degrade or improve? What does the future hold?
Learning OutcomesUpon completion of this course, students should be able to:
– Distinguish the positions of leading thinkers who have contributed to the philosophy of technology throughout history and explain arguments for and against those positions;
– Compare and contrast the different philosophical themes in the philosophy of technology and make coherent arguments based on a solid grasp of those themes;
– Apply philosophical tools to critically assess current and emerging technologies;
– Develop a nuanced, well-considered and independent viewpoint on present-day discussions in the philosophy of technology;
– Navigate challenging philosophical texts;
– Relate our own lived experience to philosophical themes that shed light on our relationships to technology.
SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS