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Foundations of Science

, Volume 16, Issue 2–3, pp 139–159 | Cite as

In Between Us: On the Transparency and Opacity of Technological Mediation

  • Yoni Van Den Eede
Article

Abstract

In recent years several approaches—philosophical, sociological, psychological—have been developed to come to grips with our profoundly technologically mediated world. However, notwithstanding the vast merit of each, they illuminate only certain aspects of technological mediation. This paper is a preliminary attempt at a philosophical reflection on technological mediation as such—deploying the concepts of ‘transparency’ and ‘opacity’ as heuristic instruments. Hence, we locate a ‘theory of transparency’ within several theoretical frameworks—respectively classic phenomenology, media theory, Actor Network Theory, postphenomenology, several ethnographical, psychological, and sociological perspectives, and finally, the “Critical Theory of Technology.” Subsequently, we render a general, systematic overview of these theories, thereby conjecturing what a broad analysis of technological mediation in and of itself might look like—finding, at last, an essential contradiction between transparency of ‘use’ and transparency of social origins and effects.

Keywords

Philosophy of technology Technological mediation Transparency 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFree University of Brussels (VUB)Brussels, ElseneBelgium

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