HPS220H1: Machines


Machines pervade our lives and their influences are woven through countless contemporary debates in both academic and public discourse. The term ‘machine’ is used frequently in ordinary language, in literature, as well as in philosophical and scientific discussions, yet the concept itself—it’s history, meaning, and impact—rarely gets the analysis it deserves. This course explores the meanings and influence of machines for knowledge, culture, and society in different periods and places, both real and imaginary, through the lens of the history and philosophy of technology. We will draw on scholarship and expertise from a range of fields, including history, philosophy, anthropology, human-machine interaction, computer science, sociology, and literary studies, to explore what machines have been, what they have become, and what they mean for our societies.

Completion of 4.0 credits
Society and its Institutions (3)