Three Ways of Being with Technology

Topics: Science, Philosophy of technology, Technology Pages: 4 (1539 words) Published: November 9, 2012
Three Ways Of Being-with Technology by Carl Mitcham

Mitcham talks about the relations between technology and humanity. He starts with the chicken-and-egg question “Which is primary-humanity or knowledge?” What exactly is happening? Is it that we influence the technology or is it so happening that the technology is shaping our morals and us? At this point he quotes one of the Winston Churchill quotations that “We shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us “. Then he tries to answer this question by saying it is a mutual relationship in between these two but even the mutual relationship take different forms. He then proposes a three ways of being with the technology and takes the whole document on structural analysis of the three forms. Ancient Skepticism:

The articulation of a relationship between humanity and technics in the earliest forms when stated boldly is “technology (that is, the study of technics) is necessary but dangerous”. Technics, according to these myths, although to some extent required by humanity and thus on occasion a cause for legitimate celebration, easily turns against the human by severing it from some larger reality - a severing that can be manifest in a failure of faith or shift of the will, a refusal to rely on or trust God or the gods, whether manifested in nature or in Providence. Ethical arguments in support of this distrust or uneasiness about technical activities can be detected in the earliest strata of Western philosophy. Socrates considered farming, the least technical of the arts, to be the most philosophical of occupations. This idea of agriculture as the most virtuous of the arts, one in which human technical action tends to be kept within proper limits, is repeated by representatives of the philosophical tradition as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Thomas Jefferson. Socrates argues that because of the supreme importance of the ethical and political issues, human beings...
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