Date: 27 February 2019
Time: 12.30 - 14.00 hrs
Venue: Ravelijn, RA 1247
Speakers: Olya Kudina & Bas de Boer


Can the Technological Mediation Approach Improve TA Practice? A Critical View from ‘Within’

In this presentation, we critically review the ambition of the technological mediation approach to complement Technology Assessment (TA) practices on a normative plane. Firstly, we briefly survey the historical development of TA, identifying the ‘external yardstick procedure’ in TA that the technological mediation approach takes issue with. We highlight several ways in which the mediation approach takes a normative stance by calling attention to values constituted ‘within’ the human-technology relations. Secondly, we then discriminate the normativity ‘from within’ as consisting of a phenomenological and an existential component. Though different, so we argue, both can hardly be separated. Thirdly, we determine whether this normativity from within can function as an addition or valuable alternative to existing TA approaches. We discern between a weak and a strong reading of the technological mediation approach. Only the weak reading, we argue, can augment existing TA practices; the strong reading conflicts with it.

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Olya Kudina & Bas de Boer