Since the Greek myths of Prometheus and Pandora’s Box, the relationship with technology and the human aspiration to manipulate and control nature has been problematic. On the one hand it is only through technologies that humans can emerge from nature and on the other hand this technologically created second nature often threatens the very existence of the human being. These threats are often less single technologies or technological artefacts but large scale technological systems fuelled through bureaucratic thinking that assemble what Lewis Mumford has called megamachines: the nuclear arms race, for example, ran almost autonomously.
This seminar aims to develop an understanding of the relationship between technology and society. Drawing on perspectives from history, anthropology, sociology and philosophy, the seminar explores the co-evolutionary aspects between technology and society.