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Über eine technikphilosophische Methode

Müller, Oliver

Phänomenologische Forschungen, Bd. 2020 (2020), Iss. 2: S. 166–184

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Müller, Oliver


In my contribution, I aim at introducing ‘postphenomenology’ to the Germandebate. Postphenomenology is a philosophical approach developed by the U.S.-American philosopher Don Ihde, and currently intensively discussed and further developed within a lively international community. I will pay special attention to Don Ihde’s adaptation of ‘classical’ phenomenology. Ihde himself draws on Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, and Heidegger, transforming their phenomenology into a modified ‘hybrid’ phenomenology that primarily focuses on the technical mediation of our self- and world-relation. Against this background, I describe four basic assumptions of the postphenomenological methodology (such as the new configuration of ‘subject’ and ‘object’). Furthermore, I introduce and discuss Ihde’s (inter)relational ontology, including his distinction between ‘embodiment relations’, ‘hermeneutic relations’, ‘alterity relations’, and ‘background relations’. And finally, I ask whether it could be a problem of this approach when postphenomenology provides highly interesting descriptions of human-technology engagements, but hardly develops perspectives of a critique of technology, so that ultimately a radical reflection of the ‘technological condition of our existence’ remains missing in this approach.