chapter  7
Pragmatist Aesthetics and the Experience of Technology
WithDavid L. Hildebrand
Pages 22

This chapter explains the pragmatic approach, and reviews the technological issues by consulting several communication specialists. It explores the basic pragmatist framework within which experience is to be understood. The chapter explains that new technologies—particularly personal information technology (PIT)—are affecting experience in profound ways that can best be understood using vocabularies rich in phenomenology and philosophically pragmatic analysis. It argues that the philosophical instruments—analyses of experience—lead toward a constructive last stage: the application of a pragmatist aesthetics to the phenomena of PIT. A prominent research area concerns PIT's effects upon interpersonal relationships, especially those created and sustained in co-present situations. Other pertinent area of inquiry concerns PIT's effects on self-identity. Important changes in habits engendered by PIT include: "hyper attention"; "multi-tasking"; "fear of missing out"; avoidance of co-present interactions; "cognitive offloading", and increased impatience with interpersonal situations containing lulls and silences.