Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Smith, D.
Rewriting the Constitution: A Critique of ‘Postphenomenology’
(2015) Philosophy and Technology, 28 (4), pp. 533-551.

DOI: 10.1007/s13347-014-0175-6

Abstract
This paper builds a three-part argument in favour of a more transcendentally focused form of ‘postphenomenology’ than is currently practised in philosophy of technology. It does so by problematising two key terms, ‘constitution’ and ‘postphenomenology’, then by arguing in favour of a ‘transcendental empiricist’ approach that draws on the work of Foucault, Derrida, and, in particular, Deleuze. Part one examines ‘constitution’, as it moves from the context of Husserl’s phenomenology to Ihde and Verbeek’s ‘postphenomenology’. I argue that the term tends towards different senses in these contexts, and that this renders its sense more problematic than the work of Ihde and Verbeek makes it appear. Part two examines ‘postphenomenology’. I argue that putatively ‘poststructuralist’ thinkers such as Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze may be better characterised as ‘postphenomenologists’, and that approaching them in this way may allow better access to their work from a philosophy of technology perspective. Part three argues for a ‘transcendental empiricist’ approach to philosophy of technology. In doing so, it argues for a rewriting of contemporary philosophy of technology’s political constitution: since an ‘empirical turn’ in the 1990s, I argue, philosophy of technology has been too narrowly focused on ‘empirical’ issues of fact, and not focused enough on ‘transcendental’ issues concerning conditions for these facts. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Author Keywords
Deleuze; Ihde; Postphenomenology; Transcendental empiricism; Transcendental turn; Verbeek

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