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PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY

CODE 108721
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022/2023
CREDITS
  • 6 cfu during the 1st year of 8465 METODOLOGIE FILOSOFICHE (LM-78) - GENOVA
  • SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-FIL/02
    TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
  • SEMESTER 2° Semester
    TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

    OVERVIEW

    Philosophy of Technology and its main themes are introduced. Through guided reading of articles and book chapters, students will develop an understanding of the classical and contemporary philosophical issues surrounding technology, design, and artifacts.

    AIMS AND CONTENT

    LEARNING OUTCOMES

    To analyze the notion of technology. To question the various forms of technology and their relationship to science. To identify the place of technological objects in an overall picture of reality. To consider the value implications of technology, both in ethics and aesthetics.

    AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

    Students are expected to develop an understanding of the central issues in philosophy of technology and how it relates to broader philosophical issues. In particular, students will become familiar with debates as to the ontological status of artifacts, their design, value, and how they acquire the functions that they have. By studying classical and contemporary texts, and critically discussing them in class, students will develop their own views on these issues.

     

    The expected learning outcomes are as follows:

     

    1. To be familiar with classical and contemporary issues in the philosophy of technology
    2. To develop a clear understanding of the notion of artifact function, its similarities and differences with biological function, and how it relates to the intentions of users and designers
    3. To understand the ways in which aesthetic value of designed objects can be attributed.
    4. To understand the various ethical and political issues that emerge when we consider technology, design, and artifacts.

    PREREQUISITES

    As the course will be in English, good comprehension and written skills in this language are required. 

    TEACHING METHODS

    Teaching in presence.

     

    The class consists of 40 hours (6 credits) with phases of collective discussion and learning verification.

    SYLLABUS/CONTENT

    • What is technology?
    • What are artifacts?
    • What determines the function of an artifact?
    • How can designers be confident that their creations will function correctly?
    • Can design be beautiful?
    • What are the moral and political implications of technology and design?

    RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, L. R. (2007). The metaphysics of everyday life (Vol. 10). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

     

    Evnine, S. J. (2016). Making objects and events: A hylomorphic theory of artifacts, actions, and organisms. Oxford University Press.

     

    Parsons, G., & Carlson, A. (2008). Functional beauty. OUP Oxford.

     

    Parsons, G. (2015). The philosophy of design. John Wiley & Sons.

     

    Preston, B. (2013). A philosophy of material culture: Action, function, and mind. Routledge.

    LESSONS

    LESSONS START

    Monday 13th March 2023

    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

    EXAMS

    EXAM DESCRIPTION

    Exams will consist of a written and oral component. Students are required to write a 3000 word essay on one of the topics studied in the class (suggested essay titles will be provided in due course) and, in the oral exam, critically discuss their essay and the other key topics presented in the course

    ASSESSMENT METHODS

    During the class, the active participation of students is encouraged and valued while discussing particular aspects of the program. Assessment will be based on how well the topics of the course have been understood, the ability to present these ideas clearly and concisely, and to critically evaluate them. The student who shows understanding of the basic notions and issues of the discipline, and presents them clearly and coherently, but only in their essential lines, is assessed as “sufficient”. The student who masters the basic notions and issues of the discipline and is able to analyse them is assessed as “good”. The student who, in addition to mastering the basic notions and issues of the discipline, and being able to analyse them, also proves to be inclined to the construction of original theses and arguments is assessed as “outstanding”.