Friday, 3 August 2012

Postphenomenology and Technoscience… Hermeneutic Relationship

IHDE, D. (2009) Postphenomenology and Technoscience: The Peking University Lectures. New York: State University of New York Press.

“Hermeneutic relations. I have always held that human technology (experiential) relations form a continuum. As one moves along a continuum, one finds technologies that engage one’s more linguistic, meaning-orientated capacities. Here, while the engagement remains active, the process is more analogous to our reading or interpreting actions than to our bodily action. There are hints of this in Heidegger’s example of the old style turn signal on old European cars, a pointerlike device that pops up and points as a signifying artefact. Writing, of course, is itself a technology, and it is one of the rare examples partially analysed by Husserl as a technology that changes one’s sense of meaning. But my own earlier examples were drawn from instrument readings. Instrument panels remain ‘referential,’ but perceptually they display dials, gauges, or other ‘readable technologies’ into the human-world relationship. And while, referentially, one ‘reads through’ the artefact, bodily-perceptually, it is what is read.” (p43)

Ihde discusses an experiential continuum in human technology, where the process of active engagement in a technology is more meaning-orientated. It is more about interpreting actions than conscious bodily action. Perceptively the information in the visual affordances and calls to action are referentially ‘read through,’ what is read is ‘bodily-perceived’ for the action to be performed. There is a hermeneutic relationship here that pragmatically is practical but can be revealed phenomenologically. 

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