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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2020, Vol. 15 Issue (1) : 73-92
From Assessment to Design: What Is Really Needed in Technology Accompaniment to Achieve Subject Constitution?
JIA Lumeng1(), HUNG Ching2()
1. Research Center for Science, Technology and Society, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300350, China
2. Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, Enschede, 7500AE, The Netherlands
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Based on the argument that technologies mediate human experience and praxis, the idea of technology accompaniment has been suggested as an approach to developing human-tech relations. In light of this idea, this paper argues, firstly, that when technologies inevitably have moral relevance in influencing human perceptions and actions, the constitution of a moral subject has much to do with shaping technological mediation deliberately and creatively. While there is not always a direct connection between what humans know and what humans do, technological mediation can help to strengthen people’s motivation to do the right thing. Subsequently, we examine two approaches that have often been suggested for realizing subject-constitution-with-technology: one is Technology Assessment, and the other is Mediation Design. Although the former can equip people with knowledge about technological mediation, it is relatively weak when it comes to directly producing moral behavior. In contrast, the latter not only exerts a more direct impact on user behavior but may also improve people’s moral knowledge. Nonetheless, both approaches face the general challenge of moral education. As moral knowledge does not guarantee moral behavior, knowing facts and theories about technological mediation may not lead to subject constitution as a result of the development of the human-tech relationship. To overcome this difficulty, an extension of the latter approach is proposed. The design of meta-mediation has great potential to shift users’ attention to the aforementioned mediating effect of technology-in-use and, thereby, users’ subject constitution can be enabled.

Keywords technological mediation      technology accompaniment      subject constitution      Knowing-doing gap      meta-mediation design     
Issue Date: 31 March 2020
 Cite this article:   
JIA Lumeng,HUNG Ching. From Assessment to Design: What Is Really Needed in Technology Accompaniment to Achieve Subject Constitution?[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2020, 15(1): 73-92.
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JIA Lumeng
HUNG Ching
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