| UST Faculty Research Colloquium |
Thursday, February 27, 2020 12:15 PM to 2:00 PM
Technology and the Meaning of Life
How do technologies such as social media, three-dimensional online games, and virtual reality confer meaning on our life? Our talk will discuss this question from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will first address the Social Construction of Technologies (SCOT). SCOT is a theory of socio-technical change, which takes an anthropological approach to studying technological developments. According to SCOT our interaction with technology is constituted by interpretation. We don't just use technology, but we also bestow meaning upon it.
Second, our talk will integrate these scientific findings into the contemporary philosophical debate on the meaning of life. How does the meaning embedded in technology contribute to the overall meaning of our life? Our hypothesis is that this relation is circular. On the one hand, technological meaning enhances the meaning of our life. On the other hand, technological meaning largely depends on a holistic framework of meaning. We believe that the distress that often afflicts our society is provoked by the breakdown of this circular relation.