, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 199–205 | Cite as

Postphenomenological investigations of technological experience

  • Arun Kumar TripathiEmail author
Open Forum


Technology is inextricably woven into the social and cultural fabric of different cultures. Tool use technologies, created and used by our pre-sapiens relatives, preceded us by more than a million years. There are no human cultures that are pre-technological. All humans have a material culture with complexly patterned praxes involving artifacts; we have only recently begun to appreciate the completely of even what may be called technologically mediated cultures. Technologies either magnify or amplify human experiences and can change the ways we live. This non-neutral, transformative power of humans enhanced by technologies is essential feature of the human–technology relations. Technologies are the extension of our bodies. The technological form of life is part and parcel of culture, just as culture in the human sense inevitably implies technologies. Every technology, as a word, has a signifier and a meaning. The signifier can be seen as the hardware of the technology, while the meaning can be conceived of as the uses and the functions that the technology performs. However, a technology, like many words, tends to be ambiguous, that is its meaning is mutable. As a consequence, in order to make sense, a technology calls for a cultural context where to be embedded. In this essay, I will demonstrate how this relationship can be articulated and their main theoretical implications for the study of new technologies give rise to ethics.


Body Cognitive Culture Ihde Philosophy of technology Posthuman Hermeneutics Mediation Postphenomenology Technologies 


  1. Brey P (2000) Theories of technology as extension of human faculties. In: Mitcham C (ed) Metaphysics, epistemology, and technology (research in philosophy and technology, vol. 19). JAI, Amsterdam, pp 59–78Google Scholar
  2. Clark A (1999) An embodied cognitive science? In: Trends in cognitive sciences, vol 3, no. 9, September 1999Google Scholar
  3. Clark A (2007) Re-inventing ourselves: the plasticity of embodiment, sensing, and mind. J Med Philos (A Forum of Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine), 32:263–282Google Scholar
  4. Clark A (2008) Pressing the flesh: a tension in the study of the embodied, embedded mind? In: Philosophy and phenomenological research, vol. LXXVI No. 1, January 2008, International Phenomenological Society, pp 37–59Google Scholar
  5. Coolen M (2001) Becoming a cyborg as one of the ends of disembodied man. In: Chadwick R, Introna L, Marturano A (eds) Proceedings 2001 conference on computer ethics, philosophical enquiries: IT & the body, Lancaster University, pp 49–60Google Scholar
  6. De Vries MJ (2005) Teaching about technology: an introduction to the philosophy of technology for non-philosophers. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  7. Gordijn B, Chadwick R (eds) (2009) Medical enhancement and posthumanity. Springer, Forthcoming in 2009Google Scholar
  8. Haugeland J (1998) Having thought: essays in the metaphysics of mind. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Ihde D (1993) Postphenomenology: essays in the postmodern context. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, ILGoogle Scholar
  10. Ihde D (2002) Bodies in technology: electronic mediations series. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  11. Ihde D (2003) If phenomenology is an albatross, is postphenomenology possible? In: Ihde D, Selinger E (eds) Chasing technoscience: matrix for materiality. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp 131–144Google Scholar
  12. Ihde D (2004a) Incorporating the material: phenomenology and philosophy of technology [in Japanese]. In: Nagataki S (ed) Phenomenology and 21st century knowledge, (Nakanaski Shuppan Co., 2004), pp 216–243Google Scholar
  13. Ihde D (2004b) Simulation and embodiment yearbook of the Institute of Advanced Study on Science, Technology and Society, Profil Verlag, pp 231–244Google Scholar
  14. Ihde D (2006) Technofantasies and embodiment. In: Diocaretz M, Herbrechter S (eds) The matrix in theory, (Rodopi, 2006), pp 153–166Google Scholar
  15. Ihde D (2007) Imaging technologies: a technoscience revolution. In: The proceedings of the twenty-first world congress of philosophy, vol 13, Philosophy Facing World Problems, pp 125–135Google Scholar
  16. Ihde D (2008) Of which human are we post? In: The global spiral (Publication of Metanexus Institute) vol 9, Issue 3, June 2008.
  17. Ihde D (2009) Postphenomenology and technoscience: the peking university lectures. SUNY PRESS, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Irrgang B (2005) Posthumanes Menschsein? Künstliche Intelligenz, Cyberspace, Roboter, Cyborgs und Designer-Menschen—Anthropologie des künstlichen Menschen im 21. Jahrhundert [Posthuman Bodily Existence? Artificial Intelligence, Cyberspace, Robot, Cyborgs and Designer human beings—Anthropology of artificial humans in the 21st century] Franz Steiner Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  19. Irrgang B (2009) Der Leib des Menschen. Grundriss einer phänomenologisch-hermeneutischen Anthropologie [The Body of Humans. Phenomenological hermeneutics of anthropology]. Franz Steiner Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  20. Kelly SD (2000) Review of andy clark. Being there. Putting brain, body, and world together again in mind, New Series, vol 109, no 433, pp 138–143Google Scholar
  21. Nagataki S, Hirose S (2007) Phenomenology and the third generation of cognitive science: towards a cognitive phenomenology of the body in Human Studies. Authors propose a new research initiative of cognitive phenomenology of the body by extending the Merleau-Pontian perspectiveGoogle Scholar
  22. Parry B (2007) Interrogating posthumanism: historical and contemporary adventures in the enhancement, legibility, and knowability of human bodies. In: Between the human and the post-human–technology and humanity (Science Technology Culture Research Group: A one-day conference at the University of Nottingham 19 September 2007)Google Scholar
  23. Pepperell R (2007) The human and the posthuman. In Between the human and the post-human–technology and humanity (Science Technology Culture Research Group: a one-day conference at the University of Nottingham 19 September 2007)Google Scholar
  24. Peters M, Blee H, Britton A (eds) (2008) Global citizenship education: philosophy, theory and pedagogy, rotterdam. Sense Publishers, BostonGoogle Scholar
  25. Scharff RC (2005) In: Protevi J (ed) Philosophy of technology, Edinburgh Encyclopaedia of Continental Philosophy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University PressGoogle Scholar
  26. Verbeek P-P (2005) What things do: philosophical reflections on technology, agency, and design. Pennsylvania State University Press, University ParkGoogle Scholar
  27. Verbeek P-P (2007) Beyond the Human Eye. Technological Mediation and Posthuman Visions. In: Kockelkoren P (ed) Mediated vision. Veenman Publishers and ArtEZ Press, Rotterdam. Accessed 23 Oct 2014
  28. Verbeek P-P (2009) Cultivating humanity: toward a non-humanist ethics of technology. In: Berg Olsen J-K, Selinger E, Riis S (eds) New waves in philosophy of technology. Palgrave Macmillan. Accessed 23 Oct 2014)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central University of Tibetan StudiesSarnath, VaranasiIndia

Personalised recommendations