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Welcome to week 1

In the first week of the MOOC on Philosophy of Technology we look into the theories of Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger.

The central philosophical approaches in this course are phenomenology, post-phenomenology, and mediation theory (see STEP 1.2 – Glossary). In the first week we will delve into the beginning of the 20th century as we discuss two important, albeit controversial, German thinkers. Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger will show us how technology alienates us from our authentic existence. You will use this knowledge later on to work on a case study on self-driving cars, which challenges our idea of control over technology.

Who will you learn with?

In Twente, we are strongly committed to interdisciplinary work, connecting philosophy of technology to other fields. We have close ties to many other programs and research groups, both in social science and engineering.

Educator Prof. dr. ir. Peter-Paul Verbeek is chair of the research group in the philosophy of human-technology relations, while also being co-director of the Twente DesignLab, which makes it possible to connect philosophical theory directly to technology design and innovation. He is developing a theory of ‘technological mediation’, about which you will learn more in this course. This theory explains the role of technology in society and human existence, and enables designers to anticipate, evaluate, and design this role.

Mentor Roos de Jong finished a bachelor in philosophy at Utrecht University and enrolled in the master programme Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society at the University of Twente. Roos assisted in the development of this online course and will respond to your comments and questions.

Mentor Sabrina Hauser is a PhD candidate at the School of Interactive Arts + Technology at Simon Fraser University in Canada under the supervision of Professors Ron Wakkary and Peter-Paul Verbeek. In her work she links her interaction design research with postphenomenology. Sabrina will respond to your comments and questions concerned with design.

We would like to know what motivated you to join this course. Would you like to briefly introduce yourselves in the comment section below?

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