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The Question of Technology Today (2)

17:00-19:00, July 3 (Fri), 2009
Seminar Room, 2F, Building 101, Komaba Campus, University of Tokyo

From Metaphysics of techniques to Anthropology of technology
Situating philosophy today

Speaker: Alain Marc Rieu
Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Lyon III
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of East Asian Study (CNRS), Ecole Normale Supérieure
Visiting Professor, Chuo University
Associate Researcher, Waseda University

What drives technological development and innovation in a culture and society? What blocks it or slows it down? Economics and sociology provide important but partial answers. Other explanations are required.
This communication intends to analyze the various metaphysical layers explaining the development of technology and techniques in Western Europe. These metaphysical layers also explain the formation since the early 19th century of a global program defining technology as “applied science” and later as “techno-science”. This program played a decisive role in the development and management of an “industrial society” in Europe but also outside Europe, in Japan and the USA. This program led also to the influential metaphysical interpretation of technology developed by Heidegger in the early 1950es.
This communication intends also to explain how in the 1960es in France discourses and theories on technology transformed into a powerful anthropology of technology, mainly by André Leroi-Gourhan, Bertrand Gille and Gilbert Simondon. They produced new knowledge and opened new research.
Today presuppositions, ideologies, discourses on technology have become an object of investigation and debate. Economics is managing technology and society though Innovation policies, which concern all aspects of life in society. What should be the role of an anthropology or epistemology of technology? How does it concern the meaning and practice of philosophy?
Finally this communication wishes to open or intensify joint comparative research with Japanese specialists.

Language: English; Admission Free; No Registration Required

This is the first talk of the project that focuses on philosophy of technology. The project started this year, and plans to have talks on philosophy of technology and Japanese philosophy. In early-Twentieth-century Japan, people such as Jun Tosaka, Kiyoshi Miki, and Hiroto Saigusa had lively philosophical discussions about technology. Based on the development of philosophy of technology after the early Twentieth century, we shall investigate possibilities and significances of philosophy of technology today.


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