Early Philosophers of Technology
from Media Determinism in Cyberspace by Samuel Ebersole
The philosophy of technology does not have a clear beginning. However, modern philosophers and historians frequently point to the rationalists and empiricists of the early 17th century as a source of thought which began to combine philosophy and science in new ways.
Crossing the Postmodern Divide with Borgmann
by Douglas Kellner
In his major works, Albert Borgmann has explored in depth and detail the role of technology in contemporary life and provided compelling critical, philosophical perspectives. In this study, I primarily discuss Crossing the Postmodern Divide (1992) in relation to the themes of his earlier Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life (1984). While appreciating Borgmann’s attempt to provide distinctions between modernity and postmodernity as historical epochs, I challenge his analysis of a postmodern divide and sketch out an alternative conception of technology that critically engages some of Borgmann’s positions.
Becoming More Than Human: Technology and the Post-Human Condition
Humans have always imagined states of existence different from the ones that they experience in their everyday lives. In fact, the pervasive feeling of dissatisfaction with our physical constraints could be seen to be the main motivating factor for religious as well as scientific thought. From ancient mythologies to modern popular culture, humans have created myriad images of transformations of the body and mind into forms that allow them to interact with the world differently.
The Post/Human Condition – Economies of gods
The “posthuman” and considerations around “posthumanism” may have dual meanings, both of which are critically distinct considerations. The post-human can be considered a postmodern critique of “human” as a concept; it may also be considered as the term given to the next evolutionary step, in other words, post-human in terms of some hypothetical future ‘being’ whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans that it is no longer considered human by current standards.
What is Transhumanism?
by Nick Bostrom
Over the past few years, a new paradigm for thinking about humankind’s future has begun to take shape among some leading computer scientists, neuroscientists, nanotechnologists and researchers at the forefront of technological development. The new paradigm rejects a crucial assumption that is implicit in both traditional futurology and practically all of today’s political thinking. This is the assumption that the “human condition” is at root a constant. Present-day processes can be fine-tuned; wealth can be increased and redistributed; tools can be developed and refined; culture can change, sometimes drastically; but human nature itself is not up for grabs.
Cybersex and the Decline of Self
by Nick Bostrom
Internet participation is a universal equalizer, in that it reduces ones identity strictly to the words that one types. Gone is the potential for discrimination or categorization based on gender, race, age, or any outward physical characteristics. One defines his/her identity entirely through language. That consequent anonymity combined with the power to redefine oneself, is the first step toward a potential decline of self on a personal level.
Science, Technology, and the Human Condition
Hines and Sterling
The 30th Anniversary Planning Committee decided early on to focus one panel exclusively on the impact of scientific discovery over the next 30 years on the human condition. We wanted not only to understand the potential problems and benefits of scientific discovery, but also to discuss how we should identify and minimize the problems while maximizing the benefits. The panel provided a fascinating discussion that focused on three areas of science and technology: Genetics, information technology, and bioethics.
Technology and Religion, Technology as Religion
Common thinking among secularists and nonbelievers of various sorts tends to be that religion and science are fundamentally incompatible. This incompatibility is also imagined to extend to the relationship between religion and technology, since technology is so often a product of science and science cannot proceed without technology, especially today.