anthropological studies) such as George Sturt, Roy Underhill, Keller and Keller, etc. Everyone will get to make something.
********************* LCC 4100N STAC Seminar Fall 2005 "Cognition and Tool Use" This seminar will draw together a range of intellectual traditions to begin to develop an understanding of the complex relations between cognition, tool use, and epistemology. These traditions include phenomenology, philosophy, anthropology, and cognitive science. The approach to the seminar question will be through traditional tools and cognitive practices, so we will spend part of the semester examining questions of "simple" tool use-- e.g., woodworking, and stone work. The goal is not to develop competency in these practices (something far beyond the limitations of a semester-long seminar), but instead to develop a critical perspective and understanding of the relations between tool-practice and knowledge. The goal is that such a perspective will enhance our understanding of knowledge practices in more complex (e.g., networked digital) technological systems.
********************* LCC 4100 STAC Seminar Spring 2003 “Building, Dwelling, Thinking: Literature, Phenomenology and Built Space” Developments in information technology, cognitive science, and philosophy over the past few decades have foregrounded thinking as abstract information processing . This move tends to characterize knowledge as a product of progressive disembodiment and increasing abstraction. In light of this drift, it is increasingly clear that the question Martin Heidegger posed some years ago regarding the relation between dwelling and thinking needs careful re-consideration and expansion. In some ways, it is the philosophical question of the new century. This seminar will begin a tentative exploration of that question: what does it mean to build a space (physical or virtual), and what exactly is the relationship between those spaces and the processes of dwelling/thinking? We will read a number of texts from philosophy, phenomenology, cognitive science, architecture theory, and literature, and each participant will produce a significant seminar project.
********************* LCC 4100N STAC Seminar Spring 2002 "The Epistemology of the Hammer in the Age of Information" Current discussions of the "Digital Age" often focus on interactivity as the defining characteristic of so-called "smart" technologies. While such notions are useful for journalistic examinations of our era, they are usually the result of an ahistorical and impoverished philosophy of technology. This seminar will examine simple tools as information technologies, attempting to come to a more complex, and I hope, richer understanding of technological practices and our constitution of knowledge. Readings will be wide and varied, including texts in metallurgy, philosophy, history, literature, and cognitive science. Some authors to be discussed include Felix Guattari, Martin Heidegger, Agricola, Humberto Maturana, Verena Conley, Edwin Hutchins, Francisco Varela, Herman Melville, H. D. Thoreau, George Sturt, Richard Powers, Keller & Keller, and Lucretius.