The online journal Eidos, A Journal for the Philosophy of Culture has just published a focus issue (#4 (6)/2018) on the topic of “Philosophy and Technology,” in which yours truly has an item. The title of my contribution is the same as this blog post, and it, along with all the other articles, is free for the download. It is a “discussion paper”, which means it is permitted a bit more leeway when it comes to scholarly standards of argument and citation. At some 6,000 words it is a good 4+ times larger than my longest blog posts, but it is free and possibly even interesting; at the very least it is at the same general level of readability of my regular blog posts, so folk who are interested can download it HERE.Robot

The entire journal may be accessed from the Eidos link above, and is well worth checking out, both for this current issue (table of contents reproduced below) and for the back issues that can be accessed through the link to the archives. As mentioned, this issue is about philosophy and technology approached, as one might guess from the journal’s title, from the general position and environment of questions of culture. Some folks might be surprised at such a choice of philosophical topics, as technology might not seem on the surface to have much to do with “the true, the beautiful, and the good,” the supposedly “core” topics of philosophy. But a couple of sentences from Marcin Rychter’s opening editorial struck me as quite appropriate here:

A simple conclusion seems inevitable: we can neither understand ourselves nor our times without deeply thinking about technology. A stronger claim seems plausible: technology should be the main topic of contemporary philosophy of culture.

As you can see from the list below, the breadth of topics examined is both rich and imaginative, tackling issues of technology and culture from a wide range of often unexpected angles. This, after all, is what philosophy is supposed to do. And, as one can see, matters of the true, the beautiful, and the good make a robust appearance.

My piece, if you’re curious, deals with the presuppositions underlying acts of measurement, and so it too fits in with the more generic subject of technology. As the argument I make there takes a rather controversial position, there is a part of me that feels a bit like I’ve unzipped my trousers in public: rather exposed, and not at all confident of a friendly reception. (It is one thing to take a controversial stand in my blog, quite another in a professional forum.) But the idea is to generate discussion, not have the final word on anything. So, again, I invite everyone to go over and take a look.

Table of Contents

Marcin Rychter – “Living Together in a Techno-World” (1-3)

Thematic Section
Stanisław Krajewski – “Can a Robot Be Grateful? Beyond Logic, Towards Religion” (4-13)
Joel Gn – “The Technology of the Cute Body” (14-26)
Róisín Lally – “The Ontological Foundations of Digital Art” (27-35)
Rafał Ilnicki – “Cryonics: Technological Fictionalization of Death” (36-45)
Tibor Solymosi – “Affording Our Culture: “Smart” Technology and the Prospects for Creative Democracy” (46-69)

Adam Lipszyc – “Taking Space Seriously: Tehiru, Khora and the Freudian Void” (70-81)
John W. August III – “Feeling and Time: The Experience of Passage and its Relation to Meaning “(82-92)

Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
Gary Herstein – “Measure is the Measure of All Things” (93-101)
Crispin Sartwell – “Rocking and Reasoning: Randall Auxier’s Sharp Reflections on Rock Music, Philosophy and Life” (102-105)
Matthew Sharpe – “Into the Heart of Darkness Or: Alt-Stoicism? Actually, No…” (106-113)