London Branch Seminar
The purpose of many computer products in the area of information and communications technology is to capture the user’s attention, distract it from the actual place where the user is situated, and export it to some virtual space where advertisers practise their persuasion. The enterprise has been enormously successful, though the effects on users aren’t always benign (anxiety, depression, etc). Philosophically, the more insidious effects are on how we think and who we think we are, encouraging calculative thinking and a post-Cartesian self-image of ourselves as disembodied minds only contingently situated in physical places. The implications for education deserve careful consideration.
Graham Parkes is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Vienna, where he does research and occasional teaching in intercultural philosophy (European and East-Asian) and philosophies of nature and culture. Among his publications are: Heidegger and Asian Thought (ed. 1987), Nietzsche and Asian Thought (ed. 1991), Composing the Soul: Reaches of Nietzsche’s Psychology (1994), and some 120 journal articles and book chapters. He has just completed a book with the working title, Coping with Global Warming: A Philosophical Approach to Ousting the Obstructors, Reforming Democracy, Cooperating with China, and Enjoying Better Lives.