My name is Jamie Knowles, I am a first-year MA student in the Philosophy & Education program, and I enter the Digital studio through the doorway of "Technology and Education: Western History". This course, and the area of educational technology in general, represents the intersection of a variety of topics that I find personally, professionally, and academically interesting. I have not yet chosen a specific path of study within Philosophy & Education, but the hope is to gain familiarity with a cross-section of educational theories, and a more firm grasp on the foundations of current American educational practice. Technology, for me, is an essential supplement to this, as it is fundamental to my past and current occupations and is also now commonplace in both lower and upper levels of education.
In terms of philosophy, like many people it seems, my initial attraction to it was through reading and studying Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment German thinkers, Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Nietzsche, Marx, etc., and particularly their ideas on history, epistemology, aesthetics, and being. That was as an undergrad and of course since then I've moved on to more post-modern and contemporary thinkers. But I think its important to mention that original attraction because it still largely represents my very personal academic and theoretical interests. I am attracted to those thinkers who attempt to think of history and philosophy in a new way, who expand or reconfigure the discourse to include previously unrepresented topics. For Marx, it was historical materialism, for Kant, the reconciliation of the thing-in-itself, for Nietzsche, the genealogy of christian morality and aesthetic subjectivity. Those were the topics that initially piqued my interest in philosophy.
In accordance with those above interests, the inclusion of technology as a field of philosophical inquiry I find very interesting. To that end, below are some rather naive questions that I hope to explore through this studio:
1. From a philosophical and historical standpoint, what is "technology"? How has it been used? What is it derivate of or prior to?
2. Has modern technology fundamentally changed the way humans experience the world? Does it alter our ideas of experience, knowledge, ethics, art, etc.? What are the implications of some of the most important technological advances, like mass production, television, internet, cgi?
3. What is the impact of technology on our conception of time? Does it affect our collective consciousness? Our general historical awareness?
Current Reading List
- The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918 by Stephen Kern
- The Structural Tranformation of the Public Sphere by Jurgen Habermas
- 20 Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams
- The Community Reconstructs by James Campbell
- Strong Democracy by Benjamin Barber