O'Reilly logo

A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 34

Phenomenology and Technology

IAIN THOMSON

As a distinctive philosophical tradition, phenomenology was founded by Husserl and then developed further – into the domain of technology – by Husserl’s most original and important student, Heidegger. Let us begin with this standard view and then develop and refine it as our needs require and space allows.

The watchword of Husserlian phenomenology is: “To the things themselves!” According to Heidegger, phenomenology – a word derived from the Greek phainomenon (“what shows itself from itself”) and logos (understood as a “making manifest” of the way things hang together) – requires “letting what shows itself from itself be seen in the very way in which it shows itself from itself.”1 For both Husserl and Heidegger, phenomenology seeks to describe the way things show themselves to consciousness – or, better, Dasein, our mere “being-here” – when we do not distort matters with theoretical interpretations drawn from outside the experience of these phenomena themselves.2 Phenomenology’s ideal (virtually regulative, but sometimes achievable) is thus a type of pure description, the pursuit of which requires phenomenologists to struggle vigilantly against our usual tendency to force the square peg of recalcitrant experience into the round hole of ready-made conceptual categories. For, in so far as the concepts we use to make sense of our experience remain uninterrogated as to their own built-in interpretive biases, we tend not even to notice ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required