Project Manager: Prof. dr. Peter-Paul Verbeek
Despite its explosive growth over the past decades, the
philosophy of technology is in great need of an empirical-philosophical theory
of technology. The objective of this project is to develop such a theory: a
theory of technological mediation. Building such a theory is a radical new step
in the development of the ‘postphenomenological’ approach in philosophy of
technology, which, until recently, has addressed the phenomenon of
technological mediation in various isolated ways. The project will
systematically investigate the mediating role of technology in three dimensions
of the relations between humans and world: epistemic, ethical, and
metaphysical. This will result in a framework to conceptualize and investigate
how technologies help to shape human understandings of the world, normative
frameworks and actions, and metaphysical frameworks.
These three dimensions will be studied in a combination of
empirical investigation and philosophical analysis. Methodologically, the
project will integrate elements of Conversation Analysis in the
postphenomenological approach in Philosophy of Technology. Postphenomenology
has brought a focus on the mediating powers of technologies, but now it is time
to bring back the human being in the analysis, albeit in a novel way. How to
understand the dynamics between technological mediations and the human
appropriation of these mediations?
The empirical work focuses on imaging technologies and
reproductive technologies, which involve crucial epistemological, ethical, and
metaphysical elements. How do imaging technologies reveal the fetus and the
brain, and how does this inform our understanding of ourselves and our
offspring? How do gender selection technologies reorganize moral and political
frameworks and actions? How does the Google Glass project reorganize the
character of public space and our understanding of the world and each other?
And how do brain imaging technologies and reproductive technologies help to
shape experiences of transcendence, reorganizing the boundaries between the
given and the made, fate and responsibility?
Project duration: 1 July 2014 - 1 July 2019
Project budget: 1,5 M-€ funding