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From Enlightenment to Environmental Crisis: A Philosophical Perspective for Identity and Cybersecurity Professionals

From Enlightenment to Environmental Crisis: A Philosophical Perspective for Identity and Cybersecurity Professionals

Combined Session
Friday, June 07, 2024 14:30—14:50
Location: B 05

In the Dialectic of Enlightenment, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer introduce a critical view of the process of civilization, economy and enlightenment as such, a critical view of the seemingly self-evident notion of pure reason, science, and technology. What Horkheimer and Adorno are trying to capture and reflect is the very process of rationality backlashing into irrationality. The long history of enlightenment is thus the demystification of nature and the development of pure calculative rationality. According to Horkheimer and Adorno, we have tried to free ourselves of the dangers and brute force of nature, but in the process of developing technology and production we have ended up narrowing our rational capacities, dominating ourselves, and tying ourselves to a petrified system now even endangering our own planet. 

We seem to have reached the era of modern technology and exact calculation, but this leaves us with no sense of control or meaningfulness in the face of a global environmental crisis. Humanity's technological orientation to the world makes clear the responsibility of human beings to the well-being of the world. This taking of responsibility will become vital in the future since it has become perfectly clear that the Earth will not be able in the long term to support the exploitative and care-less ways in which ever growing parts of humanity have been inhabiting her since at least the Industrial Revolution. However, the need to ask about modern technology is presumably dying out to the same extent that technology more definitely characterizes and regulates the appearance of the totality of the world and the position of man in it. Thus, it is important to ask: how does modern technology affect our actuality?  

This session will explore how technology is not merely a means to an end but also a lens through which we understand ourselves and the world. It will highlight the increasing responsibility that humanity bears for the well-being of the planet, especially in the face of a global environmental crisis. The session will demonstrate how this transformation represents a radical change in our technological relationship with the planet and with ourselves.

Alejandro Leal
Research Analyst
Alejandro joined KuppingerCole as a Research Analyst in December 2021. His main areas of expertise include digital transformation in the public and private sector, managing business in...
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