Pub Philosophy

Technological Possibilities and the Promise of Utopia Part 4

6:00 - 8:30pm, Monday 24 June

Event is free, but bookings are essential.

Tickets will be available Monday June 10th around 5pm. A link will be posted here in this event page and on our website.

Perth Philosophy Circle presents:
Public Philosophy: Technological Possibilities and the Promise of Utopia
A 6 part, monthly, public lecture series.

PART 4: “Technological Ways of Seeing”

In this lecture, I will draw on the work of Martin Heidegger to provide a critical account of the way our understanding of the world is shaped by modern technology. Specifically, I claim that our everyday lives have become increasingly framed by a very particular, and, therefore limited form of technological reasoning that I call ‘instrumental reason’. In doing so, my broader aim is to illustrate the intimate relation between modern science and technology, which both rest on this particular form of reasoning. The danger of instrumental reasoning, I argue, is that the world around us is reduced to the level of ‘raw material’ that we can achieve complete mastery over. The consequence is that the world becomes emptied of all mystery, all vagueness, all that we might call ‘spiritual’ or, perhaps, more accurately empty of all that is human. In other words, the danger of technological reasoning is that it works to seduce us into the belief that we can master the world around us, when, in fact, it is technology that masters us. My conclusion is that the technological framing of the world is one interpretation among others, and by no means the final or ultimate interpretation of our current situation. Rather, we must challenge ourselves to new ways of thinking in order to avoid losing our humanity

Presented by Christopher Edwards, PhD Candidate

We live in a world of rapid technological development. New technological instruments have changed our everyday lives in countless ways, while technological thinking has transformed the world in which we live. Advancements in technology allow us to save time and offer us many conveniences, but they have also contributed to some of our most pressing current social issues, such as global warming, mass surveillance and big data. What is the meaning of technology though? Is technology simply instrumental? What does it mean to think technologically and how does this way of thinking play out in our social and political spheres?

Being confronted with large social and political issues today, we often see technology as a saving grace, but can it offer solutions to the problems we face? In this series of lectures, we hope to raise questions about what technology is, and how it shapes our visions of the future. Will technology allow us to realise a better future or, as some have suggested, is it leading us into a “new dark age”?

In this series of lectures, we hope to open up a space of dialogue in order to engage with the way technology is shaping our modern world. Throughout we will discuss the possibility of seeing our shared future differently. Each lecture will last roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour and will be followed by questions and conversation.

We invite you to join us for a night of ideas, discussion and drinks as we ask what it means to be human in the modern world.
No knowledge of philosophy is required; everyone is welcome to attend.
Free to attend. All refreshments and food are available for purchase from The Moon Café.

For more info including lecture slides and suggested readings: https://perthphilosophycircle.com/