What does it mean to live in a “technological society”? In a certain sense, technology forms the very ground of what it means to be “modern”. We moderns are technological beings. This course will explore the history, structure and associated problems of our coming to be technological, beginning with technical arts and instrumental reasoning of Enlightenment and industrial ideology. Post-Enlightenment critiques polarizing around the place of “machine” and alienation in Karl Marx, and in the “question concerning technology” in Martin Heidegger will then be examined, leading up to the present state of technological discourse. In each case, we shall mark the importance of contextualising the debate by examining the actual historical evolution of technology. Weekly lectures will be devoted to presenting a social and historical background to the development of modern technologies. Student-led seminars will focus on the reading of primary texts in the field.

Cross-listing: HSTC 4200.03