Ilya Levin (Tel Aviv University)


Course description
The course presents an original theoretical discourse analyzing the intersection and interaction of three fields: science, technology, and culture. The general aim of the course is to introduce to the students an open-minded concept of Science, Technology, and Culture on the base of cultural studies. The concept shows their multidisciplinary and multicultural nature, and illustrates that they are historically and culturally conditioned. The course fosters the students' research and analytical skills.

The course consists of three parts:
• Methodology of cultural studies on one hand, and history of mankind culture on the other hand, serving as the theoretical basis for studying the technology phenomenon of the 21st century.
• The Nature of Science principles, including both historical and philosophical views.
• The concept of Technology as a cultural phenomenon. Analysis of that cultural phenomenon from the philosophical and the sociological points of view for understanding and studying of emerging Digital Society.
By the end of the course the students should:
• know basic principles and concepts of the cultural studies methodology;
• be able to reveal interrelations between theoretical discourses and historical tendencies of development of a science in society;
• be aware about basic principles, concepts and up-to-date trends of technology, both in the historical and the cultural contexts;
• understand technology as a multidisciplinary cultural phenomenon, know its philosophical basis, social values and practical importance.
• recognise the Digital Society as a new cultural form having specific properties associated with phenomena of social media, big data and on-line personality.

Active participation in the course is expected. While no grades are allotted for attendance, in order to attain a passing grade, students are expected to attend a minimum of 85% of classes.
Performing and submission on time the course assignments – 40%
Submission of final course work – 60%

1. Introduction. The main goals of the course. The structure of the course. The concept of Culture. Space of Culture. Three-dimensional model of the Cultural space. Axes of the Cultural space: values, knowledge, and regulations. Kinds of Culture: spiritual, social, and technological cultures.
2. Culture vs. Nature. History of Culture. Evolution of Culture: Ancient, Middle Age, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Modern, Post-modern.
3. Nature of Science. History of science: from Confucius to Papert: Aristotle, Plato, Bacon, Locke, Newton, Leibniz, Piaget. Science Education.
4. Science in Digital Age. New scientific Paradigms. Data-Intensive Science.
5. Fundamentals of technology. Engineering vs. Humanitarian approaches to Philosophy of technology. Ernst Kapp, Friedrich Dessauer.
6. Philosophy of technology in XX century. Mumford, Ortega, Spengler, Elul, Piaget, Papert. Neutral vs. Value-Laden and Autonomous vs. Humanly Controlled approaches to technology. Heidegger, Marcuse, Feenberg.
7. Post-phenomenological approach in philosophy of technology. Don Ihde. Relations between man, technology, and the world.
8. Information and communication technology. History of the concept. Cybernetics. Turing, Shannon, Weiner, von Neuman.
9. Fundamental concepts of Information technologies. Automata. Algorithm. Feedback. Optimization. Ontology of computing.
10. Philosophy of Information technologies. Floridi’s philosophy of Information. Meaningful data vs. Information.
11. Post-phenomenology of Digital Technologies. SAMR approach. Analysis of Mobile technologies.
12. Fundamentals of Digital Society. Culture of Digital Society. Cultural phenomena of Digital Society: Social Media, Smart Environment, Big Data.
13. Conclusions. Review of the course. Summary and trend for further studies. Actual unresolved issues.


Creeber, G., & Martin, R. (Eds.). (2009). Digital culture: Understanding new media. McGraw-Hill International.
Floridi, L. (2011). The philosophy of information. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Karmin A. S. Culturology. Moscow, Russia, CIS, 928 p. ISBN: 978-5-8114-0471-1.
Ihde, D. (1995). Postphenomenology: Essays in the postmodern context. Northwestern University Press.
Levin, I., & Mamlok, D. (2021). Culture and society in the digital age. Information, 12(2), 68.
Mitcham, C. (1994). Thinking through technology: The path between engineering and philosophy. University of Chicago Press.



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30133 Venice,

phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510

VAT: 02928970272