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1
CEPE 2014
Well-Being,Flourishing, and ICTs
Les Cordeliers, Paris, France
June 23, 2014
Beyond digital literacy:
Technolo...
2
my point in a nutshell
“To survive today,
one needs some digital literacy”
“To flourish today,
one needs some technologi...
3
technoethics perspective
an approach at the intersection between
philosophy of technology
Albert Borgmann's and Carl Mit...
4
technoethics perspective
we adapt with prodigious virtuosity to material
innovation
the smartphone for instance
but not ...
5
digital literacy, necessary skills
inside the technosphere, the infosphere
 digital literacy and digital education
we a...
6
digital literacy, necessary skills
case study: the smartphone
paramount of ordinary technology existential
significance
...
7
digital literacy, necessary skills
abundance (material and immaterial):
an abundance of means in a cultural moment when
...
8
the question of the good life reanimated
beyond social “functioning”, wellbeing requires
existential assessments of valu...
9
the question of the good life reanimated
"wisdom revival" in philosophy
beyond Sterile Standard Academism
toward real en...
10
flourishing
the concept of the good life
 flourishing
≠ functional happiness
sophisticated utilitarianism up to the mo...
11
flourishing
1970s' critical stances by Ivan Illch, E.F.
Schumacher + others
alternative models (and their cross-fecunda...
12
flourishing
an effort + a technoethical change:
focus on personal behavior, particularly micro-
actions
≠ changing the ...
13
authenticity and self-consistency
a specific technoethical awareness and resolution
to remedy the loss of engagement in...
14
authenticity and self-consistency
self-reliance makes the difference
between being an object in the networks of techno-...
15
wisdom in the technosphere
Foucault' self-care and technologies of the self
application to ordinary technology
→ practi...
16
wisdom in the technosphere
back to the point: “wisdom beyond literacy”
digital competence in ancient days = code writin...
17
references
Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (ed) (2009). Technology and psychological well-being. Cambridge University Press.
Balc...
18
more
this paper in full-text version:
http://michel.puech.free.fr/docs/2014cepe.pdf
this presentation and more document...
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"Beyond digital literacy: Technological wisdom for the good life", Michel PUECH, CEPE 2014

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"Beyond digital literacy: Technological wisdom for the good life", Michel PUECH, CEPE 2014

  1. 1. 1 CEPE 2014 Well-Being,Flourishing, and ICTs Les Cordeliers, Paris, France June 23, 2014 Beyond digital literacy: Technological wisdom for the good life Michel Puech Funding for this talk: Équipe ETOS, Télécom Ecole de Management, Institut Mines-Télécom made on a PC with LibreOffice
  2. 2. 2 my point in a nutshell “To survive today, one needs some digital literacy” “To flourish today, one needs some technological wisdom” main argument: the present technophere allows this transition: wellbeing as surviving         wellbeing as flourishing
  3. 3. 3 technoethics perspective an approach at the intersection between philosophy of technology Albert Borgmann's and Carl Mitcham's in particular applied ethics recent trends in virtue ethics in particular digital media studies in the sense of Charles Ess because the current technological environment is disruptive for two main reasons: it is digital it is pervasive  ancient values reference systems do not obtain
  4. 4. 4 technoethics perspective we adapt with prodigious virtuosity to material innovation the smartphone for instance but not so smoothly to their moral, emotional, and social consequences Facebook's exposure for instance what's new? → technoethics focuses on individual existence its phenomenology its pragmatic value-laden ordinary behaviors ≠ decades of politico-social deciphering of technological change and grandiose social reform planning → towards an existential virtuosity (Peter D. Hershock)
  5. 5. 5 digital literacy, necessary skills inside the technosphere, the infosphere  digital literacy and digital education we already do it because the lack of digital capability means a major work and social disability but ≠ ethical approach oral literacy → text literacy → digital literacy... → existential literacy to reconnect the dimensions of a disintegrated modern self (Briggle and Mitcham 2009) a broad interpretative ambition + a resolute focus on the self
  6. 6. 6 digital literacy, necessary skills case study: the smartphone paramount of ordinary technology existential significance through a “wearable” device: immersion in the infosphere the interface with the world that mediates more and more of our activities this existential experience goes beyond the “device paradigm” of contemporary technology (Borgmann 1984), it goes beyond functions and uses  the debate is no longer about the skills for thriving in the infosphere they are part of ordinary life for digital natives but rather about the meaning of thriving
  7. 7. 7 digital literacy, necessary skills abundance (material and immaterial): an abundance of means in a cultural moment when ends are scarce requires: the awareness and self-reliance that allow the construction of a self from this abundance more than a literacy, it is a culture and in fact it is a meta-culture → digital literacy = how to use Google and Wikipedia e.g. remains a functional skill ≠ digital meta-culture how to assess data retrieved from the Web how to make sense of them in a project of personal appropriation and self-constitution
  8. 8. 8 the question of the good life reanimated beyond social “functioning”, wellbeing requires existential assessments of value that pertain to wisdom and not to functional optimization but... we have lost the meaning and the methods of the fundamental questions of ethics discredit of ideologies (political and religious) easy comfort of abundance in the technosphere → a post-modern ideal of acceptable work (functioning in production) and acceptable private life (functioning in consumption)
  9. 9. 9 the question of the good life reanimated "wisdom revival" in philosophy beyond Sterile Standard Academism toward real engagement typical edited book The good life in a technological age (2012) Verbeek: “what kind of hybrids we want to be” 3 empowerments cognitive empowerment, through the resources of the technosphere pragmatic empowerment, mediated by the infosphere ethical empowerment, where philosophers step in and the wisdom question emerges
  10. 10. 10 flourishing the concept of the good life  flourishing ≠ functional happiness sophisticated utilitarianism up to the most philistine satisfaction of greed (the 1980s ideology) self-realization according to Arne Naess a universal project of flourishing for all life-forms one of the most promising frameworks for a global ethics of modernity notion of “mixed communities”, including non human life forms and the ecosystem → extension to the technosphere and infosphere as technological environments the “buen vivir” movement in South America
  11. 11. 11 flourishing 1970s' critical stances by Ivan Illch, E.F. Schumacher + others alternative models (and their cross-fecundation) H.D. Thoreau in the West Buddhism in the East Harry Frankfurt's ethics of care as meta-attitude about one's election of importances … converge toward a new vision of wisdom as a reaction and an alternative to the infantilization and disappropriation brought about by recent technology subverted by the mass medias and the advertisement industry
  12. 12. 12 flourishing an effort + a technoethical change: focus on personal behavior, particularly micro- actions ≠ changing the politicians in charge or the owners of factories away from the command-and-control attitude our vision of the world is still narrowly conditioned by engineering the rational planning of a process that would operate the transformation of a part of reality and in the end deliver the desired state of facts power        over things (technology)        over people (domination)        over oneself (wisdom)
  13. 13. 13 authenticity and self-consistency a specific technoethical awareness and resolution to remedy the loss of engagement in modernity, deplored by Heidegger or Borgmann new "mediated" engagements through the appropriation of technologies stupidification can be resisted a meta-level of self-construction in the technosphere invest first-order empowerment (Google, Wikipedia, credit card, etc.) with a second-order dedication to self constitution the resource is never a direct “good” to be stored and secured in one's existential stock
  14. 14. 14 authenticity and self-consistency self-reliance makes the difference between being an object in the networks of techno- structures and being the subject of a life → micro-resistance strategies to “outsmart the smart” in our devices and commodities Foucault's last ideas on the resistive constitution of the subject through the reversal of domination structures that become resources for the self
  15. 15. 15 wisdom in the technosphere Foucault' self-care and technologies of the self application to ordinary technology → practices of the self that can be conceived as a permanent philosophical exercise aiming at wisdom awareness, consistence, authenticity, and more what's new in technoethics ? the claim that there are abundant resources out there, waiting to be put together by a self that embraces a lucid project of self-constitution the limitation to an infra-political level a modest proposal of a self permanent education in ordinary life
  16. 16. 16 wisdom in the technosphere back to the point: “wisdom beyond literacy” digital competence in ancient days = code writing, code reading and understanding expert knowledge → Apple and intuitive interfaces → user skills and not expert skills → wisdom under the same logic heroic wisdom for "experts" in ancient times ordinary wisdom for everyone in the technosphere there is no wellbeing in the technosphere at a lower degree of engagement i.e. as "functional happiness"
  17. 17. 17 references Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (ed) (2009). Technology and psychological well-being. Cambridge University Press. Balch O. (2013, February). Buen vivir: the social philosophy inspiring movements in South America, The Guardian / Sustainable Business, Feb. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/buen-vivir-philosophy-south-america-eduardo-gudynas Berry, D. M. (ed.). (2012). Life in code and software: Mediated life in a complex computational ecology. Open Humanities Press. Retrieved from http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org/books/Life_in_Code_and_Software. Borgmann, A. (1984). Technology and the character of contemporary life: A philosophical inquiry. University of Chicago Press. Brey, P., Briggle A., & Spence E. (eds) (2012). The good life in a technological age. Routledge. Briggle A., Mitcham C. (2009). Embedding and networking: Conceptualizing experience in a technosociety. Technology in Society 31(4), 374–83. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2009.10.001 Ess, C. (2009). Digital media ethics. Polity Press. Foucault, M. (1994). Dits et écrits II, 1976-1988. Gallimard. Foucault, M. (2001). L'herméneutique du sujet. Cours au Collège de France (1981-1982). Gallimard/Seuil. Frankfurt, H.G. (1988). The importance of what we care about. Cambridge University Press. Hershock, P.D. (1999). Reinventing the wheel: A Buddhist response to the information age. SUNY Press. Hershock, P.D. (2006). Buddhism in the public sphere: Reorienting global interdependence. Routledge. Lanham, R.A. (2006). The economics of attention: Style and substance in the age of information. University of Chicago Press. Luppicini, R., Adell, R. (eds) (2008). Handbook of research on technoethics, 2 vol. Information Science Reference. Mitcham, C. (1994) Thinking through technology: The path between engineering and philosophy. Chicago University Press. Naess, A. (1989). Ecology, community and lifestyle. Cambridge University Press. Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, MCB University Press, 9 (5). Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf Puech, M. (2013). Ordinary technoethics. International Journal of Technoethics, 4(2), 36-45, July-December 2013. DOI: 10.4018/jte.2013070103 Verbeek, P.-P. (2005). What things do: Philosophical reflections on technology, agency, and design. Pennsylvania State University Press Verbeek, P.-P. (2011). Moralizing technology: Understanding and designing the morality of things. University of Chicago Press.
  18. 18. 18 more this paper in full-text version: http://michel.puech.free.fr/docs/2014cepe.pdf this presentation and more documents: http://michel.puech.free.fr contact: michel.puech@paris-sorbonne.fr

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