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Bodies in Technology

2001
Author:

Don Ihde

Bodies in Technology

An original exploration of the ways cyberspace affects human experience.

New technologies suggest new ideas about embodiment: our "reach" extends to global sites through the Internet; we enter cyberspace through the engines of virtual reality. In this book, a leading philosopher of technology explores the meaning of bodies in technology-how the sense of our bodies and of our orientation in the world is affected by the various information technologies.

Don Ihde is among the most interesting and provocative contemporary American philosophers. His investigations of how we make sense of reality by means of technology are original and illuminating. He writes with flair and wit.

Albert Borgmann, author of Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium

New technologies suggest new ideas about embodiment: our "reach" extends to global sites through the Internet; we enter cyberspace through the engines of virtual reality. In this book, a leading philosopher of technology explores the meaning of bodies in technology-how the sense of our bodies and of our orientation in the world is affected by the various information technologies.

Bodies in Technology begins with an analysis of embodiment in cyberspace, then moves on to consider ways in which social theorists have interpreted or overlooked these conditions. An astute and sensible judge of these theories, Don Ihde is a uniquely provocative and helpful guide through contemporary thinking about technology and embodiment, drawing on sources and examples as various as video games, popular films, the workings of e-mail, and virtual reality techniques.

Charting the historical, philosophical, and practical territory between virtual reality and real life, this work is an important contribution to the national conversation on the impact technology-and information technology in particular-has on our lives in a wired, global age.

Bodies in Technology

Don Ihde is distinguished professor in the Department of Philosophy and is also affiliated with the history of science and women’s studies programs at SUNY, Stony Brook.

Bodies in Technology

Don Ihde is among the most interesting and provocative contemporary American philosophers. His investigations of how we make sense of reality by means of technology are original and illuminating. He writes with flair and wit.

Albert Borgmann, author of Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium

This is an important collection of essays by Don Ihde, one of the few American philosophers who is willing and able to demonstrate the possibilities of philosophical training in elucidating and exploring the implication of contemporary technology and media.

Samuel Weber, Northwestern University

This book by Ihde explores the meaning of bodies in technology, that is, how the sense of our bodies and of our orientation in the world are affected by information technologies. The book is certainly a contribution to the worldwide conversation and debates on the impact of technology and especially information technology on the lives of human beings in a global age, especially regarding contemporary thinking about technology and embodiment.

Mousaion

Ihde has an astounding breadth and depth in his understanding of the topics and a playful way with words. This book provides us with so much inspiration and food for thought. It has the ability to provoke because it concerns areas that are highly relevant for our future as a society. The book shuffles the usual disciplines and presents a new deck of cards.

Human Studies

Bodies in Technology is philosophically provocative and lucidly written. Ihde is an especially engaging writer, and he draws on examples from film, video games, and personal experience to illustrate his points. This mode of expression makes the text quite accessible to the nonphilosopher, and historians of technology will find Ihde’s historical accounts of instrumentality and visualism a worthwhile read.

Technology and Culture

Bodies in Technology

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction BODIES IN TECHNOLOGY

Part I. BODIES, FROM REAL TO VIRTUAL

1. BODIES, VIRTUAL BODIES, AND TECHNOLOGY
2. THE TALL AND THE SHORT OF IT

Part II. BODIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

3. VISUAL IS MINSCIENCE
4. PERCEPTUAL REASONING

Part III. BODIES IN SCIENCE STUDIES

5. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
6. FAILURE OF THE NONHUMANS

Part IV. BODIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY

7. PROGNOSTIC PREDICAMENTS
8. PHIL-TECH MEETS ECO-PHIL

Epilogue TECHNOSCIENCE AND “CONSTRUCTED PERCEPTIONS”

Notes
Index