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Introduction to the course and educators

Welcome to the first video of the course on Philosophy of Technology and Design by mentor Roos de Jong.

Thanks for joining this course on philosophy of technology! Before we delve into some interesting classical and contemporary ideas about the relation between humans and technologies, we will introduce you to the structure of the course.

During the next three weeks you will get a historical and thematic introduction to the field of philosophy of technology. You will learn about some classical and contemporary views on the developments and (social) problems related to the field of technology. Besides, you will gain insights on how this theoretical knowledge can benefit the concrete practice of design, by means of a variety of case studies, assignments and examples.

This course has the following structure

  • During week 1, we will introduce you to the “classical philosophy of technology” of Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger1 and show you how they evaluated the implications of technology for society. You will learn about their worries about how they feared that technology would alienate us from our authentic existence. Also, you will explore the question of control over technology in a case-study on self-driving cars.
  • Week 2 will focus on more contemporary views in philosophy of technology. You will learn more about the ideas of Don Ihde and Bruno Latour, and about the post-phenomenological framework of “mediation” to describe and analyse how technologies shape relations between humans and the world. A case-study on social robots will challenge you to reflect on the boundaries between human and machine and on the extent to which we are embedded in a technological world.
  • In week 3, we will broaden our perspective by questioning how we can evaluate the social impact of technology and how we can take it into account when designing new technologies. You will learn to identify and think about the ethical dimensions of mediation, specifically within the context of design. Moreover, the idea of an “ethics of things” invites you to think about how technology is actually challenging our ethical frameworks themselves.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:
Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.
A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you have completed 90% of the steps in the course. The personalised certificates and transcripts provide a summary of what you’ve learned and how long it took, giving you official evidence to show employers. You’ll get these certificates in both printed and digital formats, so you can easily add it to your portfolio, CV or LinkedIn profile.
Find out more.

Disclaimer for this course

We did our very best to verify the sources of all materials used in this online course. If you find any infringement regarding copyright protected material, please let us know immediately. Any infringement was not done on purpose and will be rectified to all parties’ satisfaction.

1 Heidegger has a Nazi past. However, in this course no anti-Semitic or Nazism elements are mentioned. An introduction into Philosophy of Technology cannot be given without introducing Heidegger, because his approach plays a central part in Philosophy of Technology. May this be offensive in any way, please unsubscribe from this online course.

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Philosophy of Technology and Design: Shaping the Relations Between Humans and Technologies

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