GESC 2110: Rethinking Modern Technology

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Dec 11, 2012 (4 years and 11 months ago)

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GES
C

2110: Rethinking Modern Technology

Lau Chong
-
Fuk

20
10
/1
1

1
st

Term
F 08
-
10
Humanities Building 11

I. Course Descriptions

The rapid developments of modern
technology have been changing the
way we live in a dramatic way,
thereby creating new problems th
at
never appeared before. This course
reflects on the impact of modern
technology on everyday life. It will
be divided in two parts:

1.

The first part of the course
consists of a series of introductory lectures on the philosophy of
technology and the relation
s of technology to environment, society
and culture.

2.

In the second part, students are expected to undertake a group project.
They have to choose a topic and give a class presentation on the
development of the technology and the ethical or social problems
a
rising from it. Major discussion topics include information,
computer and biomedical technologies.

The course aims to stimulate students to think critically about what is
happening around them, increase their sensibility towards the potential
dangers of mo
dern technology, and help them understand the subtle impact
of technological developments on various aspects of everyday life. The
course is open to students of all majors (including students of the science
faculty, engineering faculty, medicine and pharma
cy majors).

II. Course Outline

1.

Introduction

2.

Part I: Lectures

a.

What is Technology?

b.

Science and Technology

c.

Technology, Rationality and Modernization

d.

Technology, Society and Enivornment

e.

Humans vs. Machines: Artificial Intelligence

f.

Basic Concepts of Ethics

3.

Part

II: Presentations

a.

Biomedical Technologies


i.

Human Cloning

ii.

Genetic Engineering

iii.

Stem Cell Research

b.

Information and Computer Technologies

i.

Intellectual Property

ii.

Privacy vs. Security

iii.

Free Expression vs. Censorship

c.

Other Issues of Technology

II. Assessment Metho
d

1.

Final Take
-
Home Exam: 30%

2.

Project Presentation: 30%

3.

Project Essay: 20%

4.

Comment: 10%

5.

Class Performance: 10%

III. References



Basic Readings:

1.

V. Dusek,

Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction
, Oxford:
Blackwell, 2006.

2.

J. Rachels/S. Rachels,

The Elements o
f Moral Philosophy
, 5th ed.,
New York: McGraw
-
Hill, 2006.

3.

J. Olen et. al., ed.,

Applying Ethics: A Text with Readings
, Belmont:
Wadsworth Publishing, 2004.

4.

R. A. Spinello,

Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace
, 3rd ed.,
Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlet
t Publishers, 2006.



Supplementary Readings:

1.

R. M. Baird et. al., ed.,

Cyberethics: Social and Moral Issues in the
Computer Age
, Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000.

2.

T. L. Beauchamp/L. Walters, L., ed.,

Contemporary Issues in
Bioethics
, Belmont, CA: Wadswor
th Pub., 1999.

3.

G. A. Cohen,

Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence
, expanded
ed., Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 2001.

4.

J. Copeland,

Artificial Intelligence: A Philosophical Introduction
,
Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1993.

5.

H. L. Dreyfus,

What Computers St
ill Can't Do: A Critique of
Artificial Reason
, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993.

6.

W. Dudley, ed.,

Genetic Engineering: Opposing Viewpoints
, San
Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1990.

7.

S. L. Edgar,

Morality and Machines: Perspectives on Computer
Ethics
, 2nd ed.,

Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003.

8.

J. Ellul,

The Technological Bluff
, trans. G. W. Bromiley, Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990.

9.

J. Ellul,

The Technological Society
, trans. J. Wilkinson, London: J.
Cape, 1965.

10.

W. Glannon,

Genes and Future Peop
le
, Oxford: Westview Press,
2001.

11.

T. Halbert/E. Ingulli,

Cyberethics
, 2nd ed., Mason, Ohio : West Legal
Studies, 2005.

12.

M. Heidegger,

The Question Concerning Technology and Other
Essays
, trans. W. Lovitt, New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

13.

D. Ihde,

Philosophy of

Technology: An Introduction
, New York:
Paragon House, 1993.

14.

D. G. Johnson,

Computer Ethics
, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall,
1994.

15.

L. Lessig,

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace
, New York: Basic
Books, 1999.

16.

C. Mitcham,

Thinking Through Technology
, Chic
ago: University of
Chicago Press, 1994.

17.

F. Rapp,

Analytical Philosophy of Technology
, Dordrecht: Reidel,
1981.

18.

R. C. Scharff/V. Dusek, ed.,

Philosophy of Technology: The
Technological Condition: An Anthology
, Oxford: Blackwell
Publishers, 2003.

19.

T. Schick,
Jr./L. Vaughn,

How to Think about Weird Things: Critical
Thinking for a New Age
, 4th ed., New York: McGraw
-
Hill, 2005.

20.

E. Schuurman,

Perspectives on Technology and Culture
,
Potchefstroom: Institute for Reformational Studies, 1997.

21.

H. A. Simon,

The Sciences

of the Artificial
, Cambridge: MIT Press,
1996.

22.

R. A. Spinello/H. T. Tavani, ed.,

Readings in CyberEthics
, 2nd ed.,
Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2004.

23.

B. Steinbock et. al., ed.,

Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine
, Boston:
McGraw
-
Hill, 2003.

24.

M
. J. de Vries,

Teaching About Technology: An Introduction to the
Philosophy of Technology for Non
-
Philosophers
, Dordrecht: Springer,
2005.

25.

A. F. Westin,

Privacy and Freedom
, New York: Atheneum, 1967.