Psychology of Technology

Course Objectives:

This course is a sustained inquiry into technology as a phenomenon. The inquiry is phenomenological in its orientation and psychological in its focus. We will look at a collection of readings from some of the more influential 20th century thinkers on technology, and aim to develop common reference points and most importantly, a common vocabulary and conceptual understanding of technology through analysis & synthesis of the readings.  Insights gained from a phenomenological perspective on technology will be used to inform reflection on the nature of consciousness, of modern times, and on what human nature.

Required Texts:

The articles/chapters are excerpted from the following list and are collected into a course readings package available at the Bookstore.

Borges, J. (1993). The Babylon lottery. In Ficciones, pp. 45-51. New York & Toronto: Knopf. (Original work published 1941.)

McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding media: The extensions of man. New York & Toronto: McGraw-Hill.

Heidegger, M. (1969). The question concerning technology and other essays. Trans. by W. Lovitt. London: Harper.

Ihde, D. (1983). Existential technics. Albany: State University of New York.

Polanyi, M. (1962). Personal knowledge. Chicago & London: University of Chicago.

Borgmann, A. (1984). Technology and the character of contemporary life.  Chicago & London: University of Chicago.

Romanyshyn, R. (1989). Technology as symptom and dream. London & New York: Routledge.

Knelman, F. (1989). Historical and contemporary perspectives of science, technology, and ethics. In Nef, Vanderkop, & Wiseman, (Eds.), Ethics and Technology, pp. 11-21. Toronto: Wall & Thompson.

White, L. (1962). Medieval technology and social change. Oxford: Clarendon.

Winner, L. (1977). Autonomous technology: Technics-out-of-control as a theme in political thought. Cambridge & London: MIT. Habermas, J. (1970). Toward a rational society.  Boston: Beacon.

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