Technology as Other: A Bakhtinian Perspective on the Dialogic Relationship of Man, Nature, and Technology

By Michele Ninacs.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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. He states: “Life knows two value centers that are fundamentally and essentially different, yet are correlated with each other: myself and the other: and it is around these centers that all of the concrete moments of Being are distributed and arranged” (74).
Where then does technology fall in this realm of otherness?
Can other be considered as something other than human?
This paper will argue that Bakhtin’s theories of dialogue, answerability and finalizability inform our understanding of the dialogic nature of technology, and position technology within the realm of other that self engages in co-construction of existence. Other can be considered as anything in existence that may impact upon and engage self in responsivity; therefore, a triumvirate of “others” participate in our co-construction of existence. This triumvirate is comprised of man, nature or other beings, and technology and constructed objects.

Keywords: Bakhtin, Other, Dialogue, Technology

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.101-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 536.959KB).

Michele Ninacs

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

Michele Ninacs is a faculty member in the College Writing Program at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York.


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