Current philosophies of technology derived from and inspired by Heidegger’s—exemplified by Postphenomenology and Critical Constructivism—have favored a focus on technological design issues; succumbing consequently; to an instrumental view of technology. This favored focus had contributed to an obliviousness to technology’s inherent dangers which are precisely immune from technological design modifications. Exploring the construal of technology as affordances; this paper offers a contrasting reading of Heidegger’s technology as embedded and embodied dispositions for specific possibilities for being and doing. Consequently; it argues for a more viable alternative to the often-implicit instrumentalist and artefactual view of technologies that frequently undergird prevalent empirical inquiries on how to design technologies and on how to improve our use of technology. Specifically; the paper argues for the employment of an affordance construal to explain technological phenomena. Opposed to instrumentalism; the affordance construal of technology has the advantage of adopting Heidegger’s relational ontology in viewing technology; hereby eschewing the prevalent reductionist view of technologies as artefacts and instruments. In addition; such an account objects to the uncritical and triumphalist reception of any and all technological innovation and invention; typified by many transhumanist/posthumanist positions.
Lagdameo, F.J. (2023). Beyond instrumentalism: Exploring the affordance construal of technology in Heidegger. Kritike: An Online Journal of Philosophy, 16(3), 69-87. https://doi.org/10.25138/16.3.a6