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ICT as a horsefly
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Visual Information and Interaction. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computerized Image Analysis and Human-Computer Interaction.
2012 (English)In: Critique, Democracy and Philosophy in 21st Century Information Society: Towards Critical Theories of Social Media / [ed] Christian Fuchs, 2012, 38-38 p.Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The way we solve problems and make decisions has been at the focus of philosophy. Since ancient times the issue has been how to think in the right way. Skills, abilities, methods and processes have been investigated. According to Platon philosophers do not have the right answers but they can find the right answers. They have the skills and they can use the right tools to discard false ideas (aporia). Philosophers think and act in a democratic way among themselves. But anybody who has the ability to philosophize, to think self-critically, systematically, scientifically, i.e. has the Aristotelian virtue of phronesis or the Kantian skill of autonomy, and acts according to this, belongs to a democracy together with other like people. Unfortunately, this is not the only definition of democracy. Although democracy itself is a process, the common sense definition is either result oriented or focused on formalistic aspects, or a combination of both. The first means that societies providing high living standards, security, tolerance, good environment and other goods are called democratic. The second definition is based on the existence of certain procedures, institutions, roles and processes, like elections. The presence of formal procedures is sufficient for a democracy definition. But if democracy is a process neither the result of it nor its formal surface characteristics should have the highest significance. Maintaining and running the democratic process is the important aspect as well as the conditions supporting it. By saying this we are back to the philosophical discussion. In essence democracy is dialog between people. That means that people search for solutions to their problems by thinking together with others. But that presupposes that each person has a dialog with himself and that each person starts with the position that own ideas and beliefs need to be better (aporia). This makes it possible to listen to others. Each participant in a democratic process, or a dialog, feels always the need of other participants because he is expecting them to help him and together with other able people find a better idea (phronesis, autonomy).ICT can contribute to this process by making information accessible and therefore facilitating citizens’ participation in political decision making. It can support openness and by that invite people to be more aware and active. Furthermore, it can support horizontal communication among citizens. Issues that are of interest to few people or to people that for some reason have difficulties to contact each other by traditional means may be neglected in the political process even though they are important. ICT can easily overcome such difficulties and provide a powerful tool to connect, inform and coordinate people’s actions. Most important, ICT can support self-critical and systematic thinking, which is the base for successful democratic dialog. ICT systems are currently used to create aporia and to stimulate autonomy during a process of problem solving and decision making. Advanced games simulate the complexity of reality in micro worlds, broadening the spectrum of opportunities and possibilities to support dialog.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 38-38 p.
Keyword [en]
communication, decision-making, democracy, dialog, ethics, information technology, microworld, philosophy, psychology, usability
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT Human Computer Interaction Philosophy Ethics Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-179136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-179136DiVA: diva2:543528
The Fourth ICTs and Society-Conference, Collection of Abstracts
Available from: 2012-08-08 Created: 2012-08-08 Last updated: 2012-08-09

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Kavathatzopoulos, Iordanis
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