Course Description

Technology and Society, PHILOS 3

A study of the nature of technology, its relation to human values, the philosophical assumptions in its development, and the philosophical implications of technology.

Key Information

Credit: 4 quarter units / 2.67 semester units credit
UC Irvine, Philosophy

Course Credit:

Upon successful completion, all online courses offered through cross-enrollment provide UC unit credit. Some courses are approved for GE, major preparation and/or, major credit or can be used as a substitute for a course at your campus.

If "unit credit" is listed by your campus, consult your department, academic adviser or Student Affairs division to inquire about the petition process for more than unit credit for the course.

UC Berkeley:
Unit Credit

UC Davis:
General Education: SS

UC Irvine:
General Education: II. Science and Technology
Major Requirement: One of the required "A." choices for UCI Philosophy B.A. Majors

UC Los Angeles:
General Education: Philosophical and Linguistic Analysis

UC Merced:
Unit Credit (see your Academic Advisor)

UC Riverside:
General Education: Elective units

UC San Diego:
General Education: TMC 1 course toward lower division disciplinary breadth if noncontiguous to major, Seventh - 1 course towards Alternatives - Humanities; Muir: 1 course in a Humanities theme in "Philosophical Perspectives"; Warren - May be counted depending on major/PofC/A, Sixth -None
Major Requirement: Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) lower division elective credit

UC San Francisco:
Unit Credit

UC Santa Barbara:
General Education: Area E - Culture and Thought
Major Requirement: Approved as a lower division elective for Philosophy Majors

UC Santa Cruz:
Major Requirement: elective for Philosophy major or minor.

More About The Course

The aim of the course is to help you develop a better and more articulate understanding of the metaphysical, epistemological, moral, and social-political implications of technologies. The course has two distinct parts. The first part discusses with general issues in the philosophy of technology and covers major positions in the philosophy of technology (especially Aristotle and Heidegger). In the second part of the course, we explore philosophical questions raised by specific emerging technologies.

Central questions discussed in the course are: What is technology and what are artifacts? Does technology control us or do we control technology? Could we upload our minds into a simulation and live forever? Are we in a computer simulation right now? Will robots ever be truly conscious? Is your iPhone a part of your mind? Would it be wrong to genetically enhance (or clone) ourselves? Should we grow meat in labs instead of factory-farms? Should we geoengineer the planet to combat climate change? Is it possible to sin in a video game or to sin with a robot? Should machines make life and death decisions? What ethical commands should driverless cars be given? Does technology make our lives better, or worse?

Relevant Website

Course Creator

Sven Bernecker
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