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CODE 108721
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-FIL/02
LANGUAGE English
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° 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, a high level of comprehension, speaking, and writing 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.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

March 2024

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

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”.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For students with disabilities or with specific learning disabilities (DSA).

Students with disabilities or with DSA are reminded that in order to request adaptations during the exam, they must first insert the certification on the University website at the page servizionline.unige.it in the "Students" section. The documentation will be verified by the University's Services Sector for the inclusion of students with disabilities and with DSA
(https://rubrica.unige.it/strutture/struttura/100111).

Subsequently, well in advance (at least 10 days) of the exam date, an email must be sent to the teacher with whom the exam will be taken, copying both the School Contact Teacher for the inclusion of students with disabilities and with DSA (elisabetta.colagrossi@unige.it) and the Sector indicated above. In the email
it is necessary to specify:

the name of the course
the date of the exam
the surname, name and student number
the compensatory tools and dispensatory measures deemed functional and required.

The contact person will confirm to the teacher that the applicant has the right to request adaptations during the exam and that such
adaptations must be agreed with the teacher. The teacher will respond by communicating whether it is possible to use the requested adaptations.

The requests must be sent at least 10 days before the exam date in order to allow the teacher to evaluate the content. In particular, in the case in which you intend to use concept maps for the exam (which must be much more concise than the maps used for studying) if the sending does not respect the expected times there will not be the technical time necessary to make any changes.

For further information on the request for services and adaptations, please consult the document:
https://unige.it/sites/unige.it/files/2024-05/Linee%20guida%20per%20la%20richiesta%20di%20servizi%2C%20di%20strumenti%20compensativi%20e_o%20di%20misure%20dispensative%20e%20di%20ausili%20specifici%20Maggio%202024.pdf

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