Mills, Ethan; Ribeiro, Brian
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
For many contemporary western societies, digital technology has become a pervasive aspect of the day-to-day lives of many individuals, and a large philosophical conversation has resulted around how the use of such technologies changes our lives. Postphenomenology, a relatively recent philosophical development, offers a distinct approach to discussing technology from a practical, situated orientation. While this approach has roots in phenomenologists like Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, it attempts a more contingent and empirical project that more thoroughly discusses the existential implications of human/technology relationships. In this paper, I trace the roots of postphenomenology in the works of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, examine some challenges from the poststructuralist writers Michel Foucault and Jean Baudrillard, and explain how postphenomenology can persist as a useful philosophical approach to technology. Furthermore, I examine our relationship to digital devices through a postphenomenological lens in order to highlight some distinct existential implications that result from using these complex technologies. Ultimately, after developing ideas from other authors of postphenomenological literature, particularly in Don Ihde’s transparency/opacity model, I conclude that our relationship to digital technologies is accurately characterized as a hybrid relation where we both embody them and interpret their contents.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Technology -- Philosophy; Digital media -- Social aspects; Phenomenology; Human-computer interaction
King, David Karlo II, "Virtual existence and its ambiguities: how postphenomenology of technology clarifies our situation in a digital world." (2019). Honors Theses.