“You cannot be against technology. It would be like being against gravity. We are technical beings.”

Blurring Boundaries is an exploration of the ever-changing relationships between humans and technology, and between subjects and objects. For example, questions on how we should interact with nature are asked from a point of view that takes nature as something that we can distance ourselves from – like technology. But in reality, the distinctions of where being human ends, and the technology begins, aren’t that clear. Rather, due to new technological developments, they are in constant flux. Even more so because at a fundamental biological level we are technical beings: We need tools in order to maintain ourselves. So when it comes to discussing how new technologies are changing the meaning of what it means to be human – and the ethical issues related to the use of technologies – these questions should not merely address whether we should at all make use of technology, but instead should inquire into the profound relationship we have with it and how technology shapes our world. What are the values at stake when new technologies emerge? And why is it important to question ourselves about the relationship we have with technology?

In this extended podcast, Peter-Paul Verbeek will shed light on various topics, ranging from our relationship with technology, robotics, and technology and creativity, to Object Oriented Ontology, Metaphysics, the importance of Philosophy when it comes to questioning established frameworks, and exploring boundaries between Science Fiction and reality. Enjoy!

Peter-Paul Verbeek (1970) is distinguished professor of Philosophy of Technology and co-director of the DesignLab of the University of Twente, The Netherlands. He is also honorary professor of techno-anthropology at Aalborg University, Denmark. His research focuses on the philosophy of human-technology relations, and aims to contribute to philosophical theory, ethical reflection, and practices of design and innovation. – (source: https://people.utwente.nl/p.p.c.c.verbeek)


(00:00) Introduction on Future Based and Peter-Paul Verbeek / (03:45) Being human, and the relation with technology / (05.51) Evolution and developments of technology / (08:00) From Freud to Nietzsche / (09:40) Doomed to be free / (10:20) Pharmakon, Stiegler / (11:00) Technical beings and ethics / (12:00) Writing, Plato and comparison with extended memory / (13:00) Something important at stake / (14:00) Can AI be creative? / (17:00) Technologies are not neutral/ (19:00) Into Metaphysics / (21:30) Designing for values / (22:00) Object Oriented Ontology / (23:00) Kant created a gap? / (24:30) Bruno Latour and the Symmetry Principle / (25:00) Phenomenology and mediators / (28:00) ‘This is not Philosophy!’ / (30:00) New questions in Philosophy / (32:00) Designers responsibility / (33:00) Iwan van der Poel: Technology as a social experiment / (33:30) Disruptive Technologies / (35:00) Science Fiction: Moral imagination / (37:00) Slavoj Žižek and the meta-pill / (37:33) Fact and Fiction, Hannah Arendt / (38:00) Dangerous Fiction: technology is not neutral / (40:00) Enthusiasm and fear / (41:00) The problems ahead of us ( and a hopeful ending) / (43:00) Conclusion

Edited by Kees Müller / Banner Dana Dijkgraaf