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March 13

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13 March 2017

TBA, Vienna, Austria

Langdon Winner, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA
Alfred Nordmann, Institute of Philosophy, TU Darmstadt, Germany

Few philosophers of technology enlist Wittgenstein's work when
thinking about technology, and scholars of Wittgenstein pay scant
attention to remarks about technology in his work. This double neglect
of (aspects of) Wittgenstein's work is symptomatic of a more general
gap between philosophy of language and philosophy of technology. This
workshop aims to close these gaps with presentations and discussions
that use Wittgenstein to conceptually develop existing investigations
in philosophy of technology and/or to better understand and evaluate
technologies in the 21st century.
Questions to be discussed will include, but are in no way limited to,
the following:
1) Is Ludwig Wittgenstein a "forgotten" classical author in the
philosophy of technology? Can we read Wittgenstein's works in a way
that renders these works helpful to the philosophy of technology?
2) Conversely, could current positions and concepts in the philosophy
of technology furnish a criticism of Wittgenstein's thought, a
criticism perhaps underdeveloped in or absent from the established
reception (positive or critical) of Wittgenstein's works?
3) Can Wittgenstein's late reflections on use and forms of life add
to, possibly even recitfy, current understandings of these notions in
the philosophy of technology?
4)What light, if any, does Wittgenstein's personal engagement with the
engineering profession (from his studies in Manchester to his Vienna
forays into building technology) shed on his subsequent engagements
with philosophy?
5) What can we learn from Wittgenstein to better understand how we
talk to machines and how machines talk to us (e.g. social robots)?
6) How can we use Wittgenstein to better understand the cultural,
social, and political dimensions of contemporary technosciences such
as synthetic biology (e.g. usage of the word "life")?
7) Does Wittgenstein help us to understand connections between
language and technology in the internet of things?
8) Can a Wittgensteinian approach contribute to addressing the problem
of how to communicate specialized disciplinary terminology in
transdisciplinary research?

A limited number of slots is available for non-invited papers.
Please send a 500 words abstract by 1 February 2017 to<> if you want to be considered for
inclusion in the workshop.

Registration to attend is free but obligatory.
For registration and organizational issues contact Agnes Buchberger<>

Philosophy of Media & Technology, University of Vienna, Austria
( ) and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs,
Prof. Mark Coeckelbergh (<> - )
Michael Funk (<> - )
Dr. Stefan Koller (<> )

This workshop is funded by the Chair of Philosophy of Media and
Technology (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mark Coeckelbergh), the Department of
Philosophy, and the Faculty of Philosophy and Education, University of


March 13
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TBC Vienna
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