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End of Week 2

Verbeek, end of week 2
© University of Twente

This week, you have been introduced to the work of Don Ihde, Bruno Latour and myself. We investigated how technologies can be seen as ‘mediators’ of the relations between humans and the world. Rather than locating technologies in the world of ‘objects’ in which we live as human ‘subjects’, we approached them as part of the relations between subjects and objects, humans and world. To do this, we connected to the hermeneutic and existential perspectives that we saw last week in the work of Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger. With the help of the work of Don Ihde, we developed a hermeneutic perspective of mediation, in which technologies help to shape human perceptions, experiences, and interpretations of the world. With the help of Bruno Latour, we developed an existential perspective, in which technologies mediate human actions, practices, and ways of engaging with the world. If you are interested to delve deeper into this latter approach, you could also have a look at the work of Albert Borgman.



Ihde, Don, ‘Of which Human are We Post?

Latour, Bruno, On Technical Mediation

Verbeek, Peter-Paul. Summary of What things do Summary (see download below)

Verbeek, Peter-Paul Beyond interaction: a short introduction to mediation theory, interactions 22, 3 (April 2015), 26-31. DOI=

Verbeek, P.P. (2016). ‘Toward a Theory of Technological Mediation: A Program for Postphenomenological Research

Books / book chapters:

Borgmann, Albert. Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

Ihde, Don. Technology and the Lifeworld, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1990

Latour, Bruno. “Where Are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts.” In Shaping Technology/Building Society, ed. W. E. Bijker and J. Law. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992.

Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Trans. C. Porter. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993..

Verbeek, Peter-Paul. What things do: Philosophical reflections on technology, agency, and design. Penn State Press, 2010. (see download below)


Verbeek, Peter-Paul. Personal website

Postphenomenology Postphenomenology website

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

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