Rhetoric of Philosophical Discourse
108 001 | CCN: 25682
Philosophies of Technology
Instructor: David Bates
Date / Time: Fr 3:00pm - 5:59pm
This course will investigate closely a number of important philosophical approaches to the question of technology. We will look at how the essence of technology reveals something about the “nature” of human existence, paying attention to the way that concepts such as artifice and creativity inform both theories of human cognition and theories of the “tool.” Some of the thinkers will offer a deep critique of modern technology, which we will explore in the context of contemporary cultures of the digital. The class will focus on close readings of the texts. Figures will include: Ernst Kapp, Henri Bergson, Martin Heidegger, Gilbert Simondon, François Lyotard, Friedrich Kittler, and Bernard Stiegler.
The class was originally imagined as a seminar-style discussion. However, given the realities of on-line teaching and learning, I will modify the structure. One hour of the class will be a recorded lecture (available earlier in the week) that will help set up the context and sketch out the argument of the week’s reading. We will then use the two hours of live class time (3-5 pm) for a workshop style meeting — that is, we will actively work together on the text, and I will break students into groups sometimes to generate topics or questions for broader discussion.
Assignments will include 2 papers focused on the readings, and a short reflective piece of writing as a final project. Participation will also factor in the grade given the nature of the workshop-seminar structure.