Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Technology and Society

Technology and Society
3
12490
2
Second semester
OB
TRANSVERSE TRAINING
ETHICS
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff


Students can request an appointment with the teachers by email. To do so, they must write to Gabriel Fernandez Borsot (gabi@uic.es) or Albert Cortina Ramos (acortinar@uic.es).

Introduction

The leading role of technology in the 21st century is such that one can not understand today's society without taking it as a reference. This prominence of technology, which characterizes our era and differentiates it from previous ages, entails important challenges and confronts us with difficult dilemmas.

Therefore, it is of vital importance for any professional to develop a critical and informed perspective on the anthropological and social implications of technology, as well as to articulate a conscious response to balance the excesses that the techno-scientific system encourages. This is especially relevant for professionals, such as bioengineers, whose profession involves a close relationship with technology.

Pre-course requirements

None.

Objectives

  1. To acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the anthropological and social implications of technology.
  2. To understand the most relevant problems and challenges arisen by to the techno-scientific system, as well as to  deepen their philosophical roots.
  3. To outline an integral and balanced alternative to the currently prevailing techno-scientific system and its excesses, by addressing its main dimensions: epistemological assumptions, conceptual framework, subjectivity-shaping capabilities (attitudes, habits and values), and lifestyle (consumption choices, time organization, etc.) .).

Competencies

  • CB1 - Students must demonstrate that they have and understand knowledge in an area of study based on general secondary education. This knowledge should be of a level that, although based on advanced textbooks, also includes some of the cutting-edge elements from their field of study.
  • CB3 - Students must have the ability to bring together and interpret significant data (normally within their area of study) and to issue judgements that include a reflection on important issues that are social, scientific or ethical in nature.
  • CB4 - Students can transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • CB5 - Students have developed the necessary learning skills to undertake subsequent studies with a high degree of autonomy.
  • CE8 - To hold a dialogue based on critical thinking on ideas connected to the main dimensions of the human being
  • CG10 - To know how to work in a multilingual and multidisciplinary environment.
  • CG4 - To resolve problems based on initiative, be good at decision-making, creativity, critical reasoning and communication, as well as the transmission of knowledge, skills and prowess in the field of Bioengineering
  • CG7 - To analyse and evaluate the social and environmental impact of technical solutions
  • CT2 - The ability to link welfare with globalisation and sustainability; to acquire the ability to use skills, technology, the economy and sustainability in a balanced and compatible manner.
  • CT3 - To know how to communicate learning results to other people both verbally and in writing, and well as thought processes and decision-making; to participate in debates in each particular specialist areas.
  • CT4 - To be able to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team, whether as a member or by management tasks, with the aim of contributing to undertaking projects based on pragmatism and a feeling of responsibility, taking on commitment while bearing the resources available in mind.
  • CT5 - To use information sources in a reliable manner. To manage the acquisition, structuring, analysis and visualisation of data and information in your specialist area and critically evaluate the results of this management.
  • CT6 - To detect gaps in your own knowledge and overcome this through critical reflection and choosing better actions to broaden your knowledge.
  • CT7 - To be fluent in a third language, usually English, with a suitable verbal and written level that is in line with graduate requirements.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the main problems and challenges of the technological society.
  2. Understand the deep philosophical roots of the problems and challenges realted to technology.
  3. Develop a critical and informed opinion on technological developments and their social implications.
  4. To outline an integral and balanced alternative to the currently prevailing techno-scientific system and its excesses, both at the individual and collective levels.

Syllabus

1. Introduction.

2. Main authors.

3. Main problems of the techno-scientific society.

4. Integral ecology and sustainability

5. Artificial intelligence.

6. The datafication.

7. Transhumanism.

8. Advanced Humanism.

9. Technology and the world of life.

10. Key ideas for an integral and balanced alternative.

Teaching and learning activities

In person



  1. Theoretical lectures.
  2. Classroom debate.
  3. Critical reflection exercises.
  4. Individual assigments.
  5. Group assignment.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person



The final grade of the course is calculated according to the following model:

  1. Attendance, class participation, and class exercises: 15%
  2. Individual assignment: 15%
  3. Group assignment: 35%
  4. Final exam: 35%

REMARKS:

A. To pass the course it is mandatory to pass the final exam.
B. Detection of plagiarism, copying or any other activity that may be considered cheating will result in failing the corresponding exercise with a score of zero for all students involved. In the case of exams, it will result in failing the course.
C. No changes in the calendar, exam dates or the evaluation system will be accepted.
D. In the repeat exam the student can choose to be evaluated with only the mark of the repeat exam. The student must request this by email to the main professor, at least one week in advance of the repeat exam.
E. In the second-sitting exams, the maximum grade students will be able to obtain is "Excellent" (grade with honors will not be available).
F. Repeating students must repeat all the activities.
G. Foreign and exchange students (Erasmus and others) and repeating students as well will be subject to the same conditions as other students, especially for what regards to calendar, exams dates and evaluation system.

Bibliography and resources

Main readings:

Esquirol, J.M., Los filósofos contemporáneos y la técnica. De Ortega a Sloterdijk, Gedisa, Barcelona 2012.

Cortina, A., Humanismo avanzado para una sociedad biotecnológica, Teconté, Barcelona 2017.

 

Further readings:

Cortina, A., y Serra, M.A., (Eds.) ¿Humanos o posthumanos?. Fragmenta editorial, Barcelona, 2015.

Ellul, J., Le Système technicien. Calmann-Lévy, París 1977.

Francisco I. Carta encíclica. Laudato si. 24 de mayo. 2015.

Heidegger, M., “Sobre la técnica”, Conferencias y artículos, Serbal, Barcelona 1994.

Jonas, H., El principio de responsabilidad, Herder, Barcelona 1995.

Kurzweil, R., La singularidad está cerca. Cuando los humanos trascendamos la biología. Lola Books, Berlin 2012.

McLuhan, M., The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1962.

Ortega y Gasset, J., Meditación de la técnica y otros ensayos sobre ciencia y filosofía. Alianza, Madrid 1982.