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Expanding Hermeneutics:  Visualizing Science by Don Ihde

Technology and the Lifeworld:  From Garden to Earth by Don IhdeTechnology and the Lifeworld : From Garden to Earth (Indiana Series in Philosophy of Technology) by Don Ihde

Technology and the Lifeworld explores some of the most crucial issues relating to the role of technology in daily life in the contemporary, multi-cultural world.  The role of tools and instruments in our relation to the earth and the ways in which technologies are culturally embedded provide the foci of this thought-provoking book.  Don Ihde begins by comparing life in a nontechnological imagined "garden" with our experience in the technologically mediated world.  He then offers three programs for understanding the variety of human involvement with technologies.  Drawing from the traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutical philosophy, the first program analyzes the diversity of human-technology relations and shows the extent to which technology is nonneutral.  The second program takes up the issue of technology as a cultural instrument, in part through a discussion of indigenous technologies, technology transfer, and neocolonialism.  The third program maps the topography of technologies around the world, introducing the concept of pluriculturality.  The book concludes with recommendations for the reconstruction of modern technological science aimed at preserving the inherited earth.

Don Ihde is Leading Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  His numerous publications include Philosophy of Technology - An Introduction, Instrumental Realism - Interface Between Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Technology, Postphenomenology - Essays in the Postmodern Context, and Experimental Phenomenology.

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"Expanding Hermeneutics"

by Don Ihde

Excerpt:

The late twentieth century seems marked by a deep intellectual discomfort about the ways in which Western thought generally has framed its ways of understanding the World. One symptom of this dis-ease revolves around the current philosophical debates which see either a dramatic end to, or a winding down from 'modernity.' Are we 'postmodern'? 'a-modern'? or, were we, as Bruno Latour claims, never modern to begin with?  In this contribution to the closing of the first "Hermeneutics and Science" meeting, I shall be using this context to re-interpret both hermeneutics and science...

 

"Why Not Science Critics?"

Excerpt:

The idea for my title was suggested quite a few years ago by Langdon Winner. Langdon had sent me a copy of a collection of his essays to read and respond to which eventually became The Whale and the Reactor.  And, although his topic was philosophy of technology and his experience was what many of us felt in technology studies at the time, the point applies equally well to science, or even better, to what is now often called technoscience...

 

"Whole Earth Measurements"

Excerpt:

1. How Many Phenomenologists does it take to detect a 'Greenhouse Effect'?

Let us take a very commonplace, often discussed and critical topic within our conversations regarding critical environmental issues: Are we detecting a 'Greenhouse Effect,' and related to this, is it exacerbated by 'homogenic factors,'i.e., human actions? At this occasion I suspect that most of you would be inclined to give a positive answer to both of these questions. But, if pushed philosophically, what would be the evidence, and how well grounded would it be for such affirmations?

Within scientific communities and associated scientifically informed circles, the answers have to be somewhat more ambiguous, particularly when rigorous questions concerning evidence are raised. Were scientific truth to be a matter of consensus--and some contemporary philosophers of science argue that scientific truth often turns out to be just that--then it is clear that there is beginning to be a kind of majoritarian consensus among many earth science practitioners that the temperature of the Earth, particularly of the oceans, is, indeed rising and that this is a crucial indicator for a possible 'Greenhouse Effect'...

 

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