DON IHDE TECHNOLOGY AND THE LIFEWORLD PDF

We use cookies to give you a better experience. In this article we will take a closer look at the four different relations distinguished by Don Ihde. What role does technology play in everyday human experience? And how do technological instruments produce and transform human knowledge?

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We use cookies to give you a better experience. In this article we will take a closer look at the four different relations distinguished by Don Ihde. What role does technology play in everyday human experience? And how do technological instruments produce and transform human knowledge?

Ihde, who was born in , develops a new perspective on technology: a perspective that wants to get closer into contact with concrete technologies. He sets himself the task of exploring this very role of technologies. In embodiment relations, technologies form a unity with a human being, and this unity is directed at the world: we speak with other people through the phone, rather than speaking to the phone itself, and we look through a microscope rather than at it.

Ihde schematises this relation as:. Hermeneutic relations, as Ihde calls them, are relations in which human beings read how technologies represent the world, like an MRI scan that represents brain activity, or the beeping of a metal detector that represents the presence of metal. Here, technologies form a unity with the world, rather than with the human being using it: humans are directed at the ways in which technologies represent the world.

In a third type of human-technology-world relations, which Ihde calls the alterity relation, human beings interact with technologies, with the world at the background of this interaction.

Examples are human-robot interactions, getting money from an ATM, or operating a machine. In fact, this relation can be seen as a central domain of Interaction Design.

It can be schematised as. Fourth, Ihde distinguishes the background relation, in which technologies are the context for human experiences and actions. The sounds of air conditioners and fridges, the warm air from heating installations, the notification sounds from cell phones during a conversation - in all of these examples, technologies are a context for human existence, rather than being experienced themselves.

It might be tempting to see mediation as a process in which a transformation occurs of the manner in which a human subject experiences a world of objects — in other words, as a process between a fixed subject and a fixed object, in which only the manner in which the object is experienced by the subject is affected.

Yet, from a phenomenological point of view this is not what is happening in technical mediation. The relation between subject and object always precedes subject and object themselves; they are constituted in their interrelation. Mediation does not simply take place between a subject and an object, but rather co-shapes subjectivity and objectivity.

Humans and the world they experience are the products of technical mediation, and not just the poles between which the mediation plays itself out. When we look at this figure, we can see more than one thing. Sometimes we see a three-dimensional cube with the top surface and two side surfaces facing us, at other times a cube with the bottom surface and two side surfaces turned towards us. If we try, we can make what we see switch between the two cubes.

We can also interpret the figure two-dimensionally and see it as an insect with six legs sitting in a six-sided cell of its web. Ihde uses this example to illustrate that different ways of seeing produce different figures. The figure allows multiple interpretations. Something similar, according to Ihde, is at work in the relation between culture and technology. Technologies are always technologies-in-use and this use context is part of a larger cultural context.

The early development of the typewriter and of the telephone, are good examples here: while they were developed as equipment for the blind and hard of hearing, the context in which they actually functioned quickly redefined them as devices that were meaningful and useful for everyone. Technology and the Lifeworld. The Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Technology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Instrumental Realism. Learn how to design and prototype a chatbot that doesn't reinforce harmful gender stereotypes. Included in Unlimited.

Explore the impact and ethics of using drones, special ops units and private security firms, with this free online course. Explore how microcontrollers are changing our everyday lives and why the future of tech innovation lies in physical computing. Free digital upgrade. Search term Search. Want to keep learning? Join the course to learn more. View course. Philosophy of Technology and Design University of Twente. Embodiment relations In embodiment relations, technologies form a unity with a human being, and this unity is directed at the world: we speak with other people through the phone, rather than speaking to the phone itself, and we look through a microscope rather than at it.

Hermeneutic relations Hermeneutic relations, as Ihde calls them, are relations in which human beings read how technologies represent the world, like an MRI scan that represents brain activity, or the beeping of a metal detector that represents the presence of metal.

Alterity relations In a third type of human-technology-world relations, which Ihde calls the alterity relation, human beings interact with technologies, with the world at the background of this interaction. Background relations Fourth, Ihde distinguishes the background relation, in which technologies are the context for human experiences and actions. Mutual constitution It might be tempting to see mediation as a process in which a transformation occurs of the manner in which a human subject experiences a world of objects — in other words, as a process between a fixed subject and a fixed object, in which only the manner in which the object is experienced by the subject is affected.

References Ihde, D. Listening and Voice. Athens: Ohio University Press. Technics and Praxis. Dordrecht: Reidel. Existential Technics. Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction. New York: Paragon House. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Expanding Hermeneutics.

Get a taste of this course Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:. Interpreting technology as a medium. How does technology mediate our perception?

Technological mediation in 5 min. Moral Mediation: How can we moralise technology? End of the course. More courses you might like Learners who joined this course have also enjoyed these courses.

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