The Essential Role of Intersubjectivity and the Non-Neutrality of Technology

Lucas Charbonnier

Lucas Charbonnier

Oct 05, 20234 min read

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The Essential Role of Intersubjectivity and the Non-Neutrality of Technology

Introduction:

The concepts of intersubjectivity and the non-neutrality of technology play crucial roles in our understanding of human connection and the impact of technology on our lives. While intersubjectivity allows us to grasp the complexity of the world and gain self-awareness through the perspectives of others, the non-neutrality of technology raises questions about the extent to which technology shapes our existence. In this article, we will explore the significance of intersubjectivity and the influence of technology, highlighting common points and offering actionable advice for navigating these aspects of our lives.

  • 1. Intersubjectivity: The Essence of Human Connection

Intersubjectivity refers to the relationship between multiple consciousnesses or subjects, where each individual presents themselves as a subject in the presence of others. It not only helps us understand the world and access reality but also enables us to gain self-awareness. While being too close to ourselves often limits our objectivity, the gaze of others provides a necessary distance that allows us to become aware of who we truly are. The gaze of others connects us to ourselves, although it can also lead to alienation and a loss of freedom when we become confined by the labels imposed on us by others' perceptions.

2. The Power and Limitations of Human Connection

Although the presence of others alleviates our solitude to some extent, it does not completely eradicate it. Solitude is an inherent aspect of human existence since consciousness is unique and ultimately unshareable. Paradoxically, the presence of others can exacerbate our solitude, as misunderstandings and conflicts may arise. However, while the presence of others may not fully shield us from solitude, it can provide solace and comfort in navigating its complexities.

  • 3. The Non-Neutrality of Technology: Shaping Our Lives

The notion that technology is neutral is commonly debated. While some argue that technology is merely a tool, others contend that it increasingly influences our lifestyles, thoughts, and coexistence. Technology's instrumental conception claims that it is morally neutral and only serves as a means to an end. The responsibility for the ethical implications lies with human beings, not the technology itself. However, the rise of efficiency and quantification as dominant values in various domains of life reveals the non-neutrality of technology. The pursuit of maximum results with minimal effort has led to a quantitative understanding of success and happiness, shaping our perception of achievement.

  • 4. The Technocratic Influence: A Challenge to Democracy

The development of technology has resulted in increased bureaucratization, administration, and planning, which can weaken democratic institutions. Individuals often find themselves conforming to the demands of technological systems rather than shaping them. The dominance of technocratic forces in politics and decision-making poses a threat to democratic principles. Additionally, the potential consequences of unchecked technological advancement on nature raise concerns about the preservation of our environment.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster genuine dialogue: In the pursuit of truth and understanding, engage in meaningful conversations that enable the exchange of diverse perspectives. Embrace the shared quest for knowledge and challenge preconceived notions to foster authentic connections with others.
  • 2. Practice respect and empathy: Recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, treating them as ends in themselves rather than mere means to personal ends. Act with respect and empathy towards others, even those we may not naturally feel affection towards, as a duty to humanity.
  • 3. Embrace mindful technology use: Be conscious of how technology shapes your life and relationships. Strive for a balanced approach, using technology as a tool for connection and productivity while avoiding excessive reliance and the devaluation of real-world interactions.

Conclusion:

Intersubjectivity plays a vital role in our understanding of the world and ourselves, providing both connection and self-awareness. Meanwhile, the non-neutrality of technology challenges us to critically examine its impact on our lives and society. By fostering genuine dialogue, practicing respect and empathy, and embracing mindful technology use, we can navigate these aspects of our existence with intentionality and balance. In doing so, we can nurture meaningful connections with others while preserving our autonomy and individuality.

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