Philosophy of Technoscience: From Cis-Continental to Trans-Continental

Hub Zwart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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Abstract

The previous chapters explored how four (interacting and overlapping) continental approaches (dialectics, dialectical materialism, psychoanalysis and phenomenology) offer hints and guidance for coming to terms with the revolutionary dynamics and disruptive impact of contemporary technoscience. Hegelian dialectics provides a conceptual scaffold for developing a comprehensive view of the terrestrial system and even for addressing the Cambrian explosion currently unfolding in laboratories around the globe, as a result of technoscientific developments such as synthetic biology and CRISP-Cas9. Dialectical materialism likewise offers a conceptual framework for addressing the rapidly aggravating disruption of the metabolism between nature and global civilisation, and the ongoing convergence of biosphere and technosphere, exemplified by the synthetic cell. Francophone psychoanalysis, closely aligned with dialectical thinking, adds to our understanding of the specificity of technoscience, both as a practice and as a discourse, where technoscientific research emerges as a questionable vocation driven by a desire to control, but at the same time ostensibly out of control. The dialectical methodology of psychoanalysis was exemplified with the help of case histories, moreover, involving Majorana particles, gene drives, malaria mosquitoes and nude mice. The latter represent technoscientific commodities, exemplifying the assembly-line production of human-made organisms (the commodification of life as such). Subsequently, we demonstrated how Heideggerian phenomenology entails important methodological hints for understanding technoscientific artefacts against the backdrop of technoscience as a mobilising force and as a global enterprise. And finally, we outlined how Teilhard’s views on the genesis of consciousness, self-consciousness and hyperconsciousness retrieve the historical (dialectical) dimension of phenomenology, thus allowing us to assess the present as a global unfolding of the noosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
PublisherSpringer Nature
Chapter8
Pages229-245
Number of pages17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

SeriesPhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
Volume38
ISSN1879-7202

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