Technology as Other

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M. M. Bakhtin in Toward a Philosophy of the Act suggests that all communication, indeed all of existence, is a co-construction between self and other. Where then does technology fall in this realm of otherness? This paper will argue that indeed, other can be considered as anything in existence that may impact upon and engage self in responsivity. This would include other humans, nature, and technology. Specifically Bakhtin’s theories of dialogue, answerability and finalizability inform our current understanding of technology, and position technology within the realm of other that self engages in co-construction of existence. Although Bakhtin makes relatively few direct references to technology, nonetheless, his works exploring the philosophy of being and culture offer a framework which can serve to more clearly define the role of technology in constructing identity and society. Since Bakhtin perceived of existence as a co-construction between self and other, defining other in our contemporary world speaks to defining the terms and limits of our existence.


Keywords: Bakhtin, Other, Dialogue, Technology
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Technology as Other: A Bakhtinian Perspective on the Dialogic Relationship of Man, Nature, and Technology


Michele Ninacs

Full-time Lecturer, College Writing Program, University College, Buffalo State College
Buffalo, New York, USA

I have been an educator for approximately 20 years and am a full-time lecturer in the College Writing Program at Buffalo State College. My teaching pedagogy draws from writing workshop, and multiliteracies pedagogies, as well as new media literacy theory, and fully incorporates digital technologies in the composing process. I am also a full-time doctoral student in the Composition and TESOL program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. My dissertation in progress is a study examining the consensus building strategies necessary in order to institutionalize innovative curriculum, specifically the incorporation of digital or new media writing in first-year composition curriculum. As such, I am particularly interested in the role of technology in constructing human identity and existence.

Ref: T08P0284