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The crisis of reason: technophobia

22 Oct

It was not Gerard Lebrun who coined the term technology, it was Jean-Pierre Séris (1941-1994) who among several issues in his text “La Technique” talks about a “strange transformation” that recalls the memories of Kantian questions: “What should I do? What can I do? What am I allowed to wait for? ”And that he ironically said what seems increasingly common:“ What should I ignore? What should I refrain from doing? ”(Lebrun apud Novaes, 1996, p. 471).
Speaking of the impact of the technique, it will not exemplify with the digital world, but bioethics, as a science of survival according to its inventor the American Potter in 1970, but well reminds Lebrun that in 1995 the International Bioethics Committee declared the genome “common heritage”. of humanity ”, saying that 20 years earlier the speech stigmatized this“ technique ”.
Lebrun says that the author “never takes sides ideologically”, and moves away from what he calls “passionate speeches”, does not adopt a “contrary to technique detractors” stance and reassures that “nothing in this book minimizes the dangers this or that risky technological intervention could bring the biosphere or animal life ”(idem, p. 471).
Clarifying that criticizing “was never synonymous with demonizing: in using the word criticism, neither Marx nor Kant preached a witch hunt” (Lebrun, p. 472), and was by the way another text in the same book of the “crisis of reason” we used in the previous post, the dissent, to disagree is to dialogue.
Lebrun clarifies that the use of the “technology” anglicism, “which erases the difference between things and the discourse about the thing … even more criticizable is the technoscience neologism, used to designate, very nebulously, a symbiosis between technique and technology. science, whose modalities, most of the time, are not careful to need ”(idem), using the concepts of Séris.
The fact that users are ignorant of using a technical device does not mean that there is an “intrinsic malignancy of the technique” (p. 472), or is it sufficient that Chernobyl, or a major blackout in New York or even a boy who can get secrets out of the Pentagon from his computer … which we use all the time (the Thaumata, as the Greeks used to refer to machines), become, at least potentially, unethical objects again ”(pages 472- 3).
It is fear that wants us to inculcate control of “technological progress,” the author cites Hans Jonas in his work “The Principle of Responsibility” is what makes JP Séris dissatisfied, but he also draws on Bernard Sève’s arguments that what Jonah calls “second-degree power,” distinguishing him from first-degree power “that which man exercises over nature through technique, that is, from man’s traditional image and power of intervention, in always controllable principle ”(page 473).
Remember that this power comes from Bacon who created a formula for this power in the first degree, and that Jonah will say that in unleashing the power in the second degree it will be necessary “unless the sentence is dictated by the disaster itself, it is a power over the power. power, ”
Then, is nothing other than the failure of the Baconian ideal, but who agrees not to subdue nature? thus the problem is not of technique but of the original domination of nature. We thus return to the initial questions “What should I do? What am I allowed to wait for? ”Jonas himself acknowledges that one cannot know the long-term effects of either technology or drugs, so“ will not undefined fear lean us against innovation, in favor of abstention? ”(Pag 476), I add, is it not fear that drives tyrants to power?
LEBRUN, G.Sobre a Tecnofobia (About technophobia). In: Novaes, Adauto. A crise da Razão: (The crisis of Reason). São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1996.

 

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