Theoretical / Philosophical Paper

Human Studies

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 77-93

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Technological Presence: Actuality and Potentiality in Subject Constitution

  • Asle H. KiranAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Faculty of Behavioural Science, University of Twente Email author 


Technical mediation shapes our experience of the world, but it also shapes our experience of ourselves. In this paper, I argue that in order to understand the latter aspect of technical mediation, we need to expand on notions of technical mediation that focuses on actual use, and bring in possible use as well. The concept of technical mediation must therefore be grounded in a more general concept of technological presence. This concept indicates that technology harbours both actuality and potentiality, the latter denoting that technologies offer possible actions, through which we realise specific actions, and, more importantly, realise ourselves; it is through the technological presence in our lifeworld we are able to recognise our own possibilities to be in and act in the lifeworld. The technologically revealed possibilities enable the subject to be constituted in a temporal forward-directedness, so that technological potentiality becomes co-constitutive of the subjects that we are and may become.


Technology Technical mediation Lifeworld Subjectivity Heidegger Becoming