PHI 112 — The Philosophy of Technology: Our Fate, Our Future
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 11—Mar 15
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 13
Instructor(s): Forrest Hartman
Class Recording Available: No
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 11—Mar 15
Technology informs and shapes every aspect of modern life. Already having reconfigured social life, technology is also redefining, through biotechnologies and artificial intelligence, what it means to be human. The urgent task of the philosophy of technology is to awaken awareness and provide perspective on the technology that is already well underway so that we may be in a position to evaluate the claims of both the techno-pessimists and the techno-optimists. Should we embrace technology unquestionably and enjoy its benefits, or should we be wary of the ways in which it is taking over our lives? The philosophy of technology is an inquiry into the nature and impact of technology as a social, cultural, and historical phenomenon, raising fundamental questions that we will examine closely in this course. What is technology? Is it merely an innocent, malleable tool, the application of scientific knowledge for beneficial, humane ends, and therefore something neutral over which we have control? Or is it a drive to power, the end of which is to conquer nature and to exploit people? Along the way, we will read a variety of essays, including Martin Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology,” considered by many to be the most influential essay in the field. Students will come away with resources for addressing and adjusting to our technological future.
Forrest Hartman’s research interests are based in the history of ideas and cultural studies, especially the relationship between the sciences and the humanities. He received a PhD in rhetoric/philosophy from UC Berkeley and a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan.
Senior Adjunct, Critical Studies Program, California College of the Arts
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Robert C. Scharff & Val Dusek , Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition: An Anthology 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-1118547250 )