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Document Details :
Title: Technology and the Materiality of Knowledge
Subtitle: Complementing David Baird's Notion of 'Thing Knowledge'
Author(s): IYER, Arun
Journal: Etudes phénoménologiques - Phenomenological Studies
Volume: 5 Date: 2021
Philosophers and historians of technology have argued that technology, which consists of material instruments, tools and models, is not simply extrinsic to knowledge. It is not merely an aid to or a tool for gaining knowledge but is constitutive of knowledge itself and should therefore be considered as one of its integral components. In the following essay, I assess one of the more recent attempts by a philosopher and historian of technology to comprehensively expand our conception of knowledge by unveiling its much-overlooked material dimension. Davis Baird’s account of the materiality of knowledge takes the form of three related theses: i. Knowledge is not necessarily reducible to belief, ii. Knowledge can be non-verbal, iii. A technological device is itself knowledge. I reveal three limitations in the way Baird understands and justifies these theses and how the work of Edmund Husserl and Michel Foucault can be used to overcome these limitations and strengthen these three theses towards building a robust materialist epistemology.