The inherent characteristics of the tool-in-hand (the TDR in use) can and does have an influence upon reflective practice. However, this tool-focused approach overlooks one important factor. As the German philosopher Martin Heidegger once said, 'A tool is only a tool insofar as it is used as such to achieve an expected goal'. That is, the designer brings his or her expertise, skills, knowledge and judgment to TDR choice and use (or lack thereof); their understanding of a tool's strengths and limitations, in terms of the requirements of design practice (or lack thereof), has clear implications for the extent to which the design tool influences the design practice.
I haven't come across that "A tool is only a tool..." quote before. The only link in Google is the blog post.
¶ 7:45 AM0 comments
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Opinionator has Michael Marder on the uses of the Black Notebooks.
Of course, none of the recent revelations about Heidegger should be suppressed or dismissed. But neither should they turn into mantras and formulas, meant to discredit one of the most original philosophical frameworks of the past century. At issue are not only concepts (such as “being-in-the-world”) or methodologies (such as “hermeneutical ontology”) but the ever fresh way of thinking that holds in store countless possibilities that are not sanctioned by the prevalent techno-scientific rationality, which governs much of philosophy within the walls of the academia.
Best to suppress thinking before it corrupts the youth of technutopia.
¶ 10:42 PM0 comments
I'm inclined to follow philosopher Martin Heidegger down a different, deeper, and darker path of speculation.
Heidegger proposed that we human beings are uniquely terrified of our own mortality because we're more keenly aware than any other animal of all we have to lose by dying. Each of us inhabits a world overflowing with meaning. We care deeply, almost infinitely, about ourselves, our lives, our loved ones. And the prospect of losing it all — of the world and everything in it winking out of existence when we cease to be — is unspeakably horrifying.
Heidegger also suggested that we spend much of our lives fleeing from the fact of our finitude, throwing ourselves into the world and its concerns, including technological distractions and diversions.
Science and religion ask different questions about different things. Where religion addresses ontology, science is concerned with ontic description. Indeed, it is what Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart calls their “austere abdication of metaphysical pretensions” that enables the sciences to do their work. So when, for instance, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne and pop-cosmologist Lawrence Krauss dismiss the (metaphysical) problem of how something could emerge from nothing by pointing to the Big Bang or quantum fluctuation, it is difficult to be kind: Quantum fluctuations, the uncertainty principle, the laws of quantum physics themselves—these are something. Nothing is not quantum anything. It is nothing. Nonbeing. This, not empty space, is what “nothing” signifies for Plato and Aquinas and Heidegger, no matter what Krauss believes. No particles, no fluctuation, no laws, no principles, no potentialities, no states, no space, no time. No thing at all.
While the transcendental turn is a specific move that characterizes the core of Kant’s
philosophical revolution, it is, at a deeper level, a name – arguably the name – for the move that
characterizes, constitutes even, philosophy as such, i.e., philospphy in its difference from
knowledge about positive reality. Heidegger saw this very clearly when, in his Being and Time,
he proposes his redefinition of hermeneutics as ontology proper, as fundamental ontology, not
only as a science about understanding and interpreting texts. Let us take the example of life: the
proper topic of philosophy is not the real nature of life as a natural phenomenon (how did life
evolve out of complex chemical processes, what are the minimal scientific characteristics of a
living organism, etc.). Philosophy raises a different question: when we encounter living entities,
when we treat them as such, we already have to possess a certain pre-understanding which
enables us to recognize them as alive, and philosophy focuses on this pre-understanding. The
same goes, say, for freedom: in what way do we understand “freedom” when we ask the
question “Are we free or not?”. The basic transcendental-hermeneutic move is the move
towards this horizon of pre-understanding which is always-already here, and this is what
Heidegger means with the Event of the disclosure of being: history at its most radical is not the
change in reality, but the shift in how things appear to us, in our fundamental pre-understanding
Heidegger’s brief sketches in these lectures suggest powerful alternatives to technological understanding that help us to recognize its limits. In “The Question Concerning Technology,” Heidegger’s hope is to “prepare a free relationship to [technology]. The relationship will be free if it opens our human existence to the essence of technology.” It is not the case “that technology is the fate of our age, where ‘fate’ means the inevitableness of an unalterable course.” Experiencing technology as a kind — but only one kind — of revealing, and seeing man’s essential place as one that is open to different kinds of revealing frees us from “the stultified compulsion to push on blindly with technology or, what comes to the same, to rebel helplessly against it and curse it as the work of the devil.” Indeed, Heidegger says at the end of the lecture, our examining or questioning of the essence of technology and other kinds of revealing is “the piety of thought.” By this questioning we may be saved from technology’s rule.
In NDPR, Evan Thompson reviews Havi Carel and Darian Meacham's Phenomenology and Naturalism: Examining the Relationship between Human Experience and Nature.
Another way to sharpen the issue between phenomenology and naturalism is to draw on Heidegger's concept of "world". By "world" Heidegger means neither the totality of things or states of affairs nor the being of that totality as nature, but the everyday world as the place in which we find ourselves and as an existential structure of our being. We exist as "being-in-the-world," which means, among other things, that we always find ourselves inhabiting a "space of meaning" that we ourselves create. When we think scientifically of the universe or nature as containing our world, we are not thinking of the world in the proper philosophical sense as the space of meaning in which anything is intelligible. When we think of the world in this philosophical way, however, then we have to reverse the formulation and say that the universe or nature is within the world, for it is always within the world that the universe or nature is disclosed to us. In this way, the world as the space of meaning has priority in the order of philosophical inquiry and understanding over the universe as represented by empirical science.