• Topic:Plea for Philosophical Reflection on Technology on a Larger Scale
  • Update Time: 2014-12-30

  TopicPlea for Philosophical Reflection on Technology on a Larger Scale 

  LecturerProfessor Carl Mitcham,Colorado School of Mines 

  CommenterProfessor DUAN Weiwen ,CASS Institute of Philosophy 

  Associate Professor YAO Dazhi, IHNS, CAS 

  Language: English 

  Time9:30-11:30 (Friday), January 9th, 2015 

  AddressMeeting Room 209 

Abstract: The history of the philosophy of technology, approached in philosophical terms, can be described as developing from big to small. I want to argue for a revival once again of bigger philosophy of technology. The speaker will explain it by way a historical analysis. After a long gestating prehistory, philosophy of technology in the West developedacross what may be distinguished as three generations. We are now at the opening of a fourth generation. These four influences in contemporary philosophy of technology discourse nevertheless involve a tension between what can be called big and small philosophy of technology. The first generation of Kapp and Marx put forth a big positive view of technology asinherently liberating. The second generation of especially Heidegger and Ellul argued a big negative view of technology as inherently dehumanizing — or at least “deculturalizing.” The third generation shifted focus from the big to the small and has argued a combined and qualified positive and negative view of technology. The opening toward a fourth generation places us at a crossroads. Let me reflect on this crossroads by means of some brief comments on each the elements mentioned — and then propose the need for a larger-scale philosophical criticism of technology.


  Introduction of the lecturer: Carl Mitcham is Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies, Director of the Hennebach Program in the Humanities, and Co-Director of the Ethics Across Campus Program at the Colorado School of Mines. His publications include Thinking through Technology: The Path between Engineering and Philosophy (1994), Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics (4 vols., 2005), Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (2010, with Robert Frodeman and Julie Thompson Klein), and Ethics and Science: An Introduction (2012, with Adam Briggle). He holds affiliate appointments at the European Graduate School, Saas Fee, Switzerland; the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado Boulder; the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, Arizona State University; and so on. Additionally he has served as a member of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1994-2000) and on expert study groups for the European Commission (2009 and 2012). His awards include the International World Technology Network (WTN) award for Ethics (2006) and a Doctorate HonorisCausa from the UniversitatInternacionalValenciana, Spain (2010).  

        ContactZHANG Zhihui, Associate Professor, zhangzhh@ihns.ac.cn; 15001360296