Pragmatist Approaches to Problems of Technology


Developing issues of new technologies of surveillance, robots, AI and social media are garnering increased attention from philosophers. This workshop explores the possibilities of applying pragmatism to uncover what is at stake with these new technologies in terms of their consequences for experience, education, agency, communication and for political values such as privacy, autonomy, and economic and social justice.

The invited participants include Antje Gimmler (Aalborg), David Hildebrand (University of Colorado Denver) and Brendan Hogan (NYU). The local organizers include Henrik Rydenfelt, Mats Bergman, Sami Paavola, Sami Pihlström and Lauri Väkevä (University of Helsinki).

The workshop is organised by the Nordic Pragmatism Network in collaboration with the Helsinki Metaphysical Club and the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki.


The workshop takes place at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Athena and Minerva buildings (Siltavuorenpenger 3A and 5A, Helsinki).


The workshop takes place on 21-22 September 2023. Please see below for the link to the online plenary.

Thursday 21 September

Location: Athena 107, Siltavuorenpenger


Sami Paavola (University of Helsinki): Developing Uses of Technology: Natural Scientific Testing vs. Practical Experimenting

Brendan Hogan (New York University): Nature, Technology, and Critique


Henrik Rydenfelt & Mats Bergman (University of Helsinki): Pragmatist Perspectives on Machine Agency

Friday 22 September

Location: Minerva Square (Minerva K226), Siltavuorenpenger


David Hildebrand (University of Colorado Denver): Algorithms, A.I. and Data in Education: A Pragmatic Look at New Promises and Core Values

Comments and Responses: Sami Pihlström (University of Helsinki)

Zoom link for the plenary session


Antje Gimmler (University of Aalborg): How to Deal with AI from a Pragmatic Perspective

Lauri Väkevä (University of Helsinki): Pragmatist Epistemology Considers AI: Large Language Models and the Pragmatic Redefinition of Knowing in Educational Philosophy

Concluding remarks

In addition, David Hildebrand will give a talk at the meeting of the Philosophical Society of Finland on Tuesday, 19 September.