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Philosophy and Technology

From an interest in human nature, I have been led to explore our relationship to machines, artificial intelligence, the impact of technologies on human enhancement, and other questions related to the nature of technology. This has led to a growing interest in philosophy of technology and the digital culture, which these essays begin to explore.

Edited by Dennis M. Weiss, Amy Propen, Colbey Emmerson Reid

Though the progress of technology continually pushes life toward virtual existence, the last decade has witnessed a renewed focus on materiality. Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman bears witness to the attention paid by literary theorists, digital humanists, rhetoricians, philosophers, and designers to the crafted environment, the manner in which artifacts mediate human relations, and the constitution of a world in which the boundary between humans and things has seemingly imploded. The chapters reflect on questions about the extent to which we ought to view humans and nonhuman artifacts as having equal capacity for agency and life, and the ways in which technological mediation challenges the central tenets of humanism and anthropocentrism.

Published in Humanities and Technology Review, this essay argues that some of the leading metaphorical constructions of cyberspace are misleading and we should be suspicious of the rhetorical construction of cyberspace as a democratic community.

Presented at the International Association of Philosophy and Literature. Considers cyberculture from the standpoint of Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Postmodernism.

A lecture delivered at various colleges and universities in central Pennsylvania.

How can the digital culture be introduced into the classroom? This essay, published in Proteus: A Journal of Ideas details some of the ways I have used computer technology in the philosophy classroom.

This essay examines William Gibson's take on the digital culture.

An outline of conference presentation given at the annual meeting of the Humanities and Technology Association, this talk considers the masculine values associated with the digital culture.

Comparing their respective visions of the cyborg, this essay argues that Marge Piercy's fictional account of cyborgs offers a more persuasive account that Andy Clark's Natural Born Cyborg.

Don Ihde is one of this country's leading philosophers of technology and this essay, which appeared in Techne, is a response to a collection of essays celebrating his work.

This is an early draft of an essay in which I was beginning to explore the impact of new technologies on our sense of place and home.

The paper, which was presented at an annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, explores the impact of technology on our sense of being at home in the world.

This handout from a conference presentation explores accounts of space, community, and self in the emerging cyberculture, focusing on the manner in which cyberspace has been conceived as a place for community and a context for fashioning self-identity

This is a review of N. Herzfeld's book In Our Image, which examines the field of artificial intelligence from a religious studies perspective. This book review appeared in The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory.

These reflections were prepared as a sample exercise for my course in feminist philosophy. They seek to analyze the digital culture from the perspective of a variety of feminist theories.

A lecture delivered at Gettysburg College exploring the relationship between human nature and computers.

While some what dated, this lecture deals with different facets of gender and technology, many points of which are I think still relevant.

Written for a conference on technology and religion sponsored by the Humanities and Technology Association, this conference presentation critically examines Richard Dawkins' and Daniel Dennett's use of the notion of memes to analyze religious belief.

What does Buffy the Vampire Slayer have to do with technology? This essay explores Joss Whedon's views on technology as they come up in Buffy, possibly one of the best television shows ever.

This conference presentation examines our sense of place in the contemporary urban technopolis.

Originally a presentation delivered at the 2009 meeting of the Society for Philosophy of Technology, this essay examines the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive psychology from the perspective of Ernst Cassirer's philosophy of culture and symbolic forms. It is slated for inclusion in the anthology Ernst Cassirer on Form and Technology: Contemporary Readings, edited by Aud Hoel and Ingvild Folkvord, whose suggestions and comments on an earlier version of this essay I appreciate.

Privacy, Security, and the Changing Nature of Technology


An op-ed on the Edward Snowden affair that appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Y.C. Magazine, the alumni magazine for York College

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