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MPYE-013: Philosophy of Technology

MPYE-013: Philosophy of Technology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MPYE-013 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Philosophy of Technology, you have come to the right place. MPYE-013 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in MAPY courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MPYE-013/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MPYE-013

Assignment Name: Philosophy of Technology

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status" Verified by Professor



i) Give answer of all five questions.

ii) All five questions carry equal marks.

iii) The answer of questions no. 1 and 2 should be in about 500 words.


1. Discuss the social and ethical implications of nanotechnology. 20

Ans) Numerous applications of nanotechnology might be the outcome of the fusion of several technologies. Nanotechnology will be influenced by other scientific developments, social reactions, and national and international politics. Technological development and its implementation do not occur in a vacuum. While its opponents worry that nanotechnology may instead eliminate life by turning the Earth's surface into an uninhabitable grey mass, extreme proponents assert that it can rebuild the human body from the inside and effectively abolish death. However, reading in the social sciences can give us a better understanding of nanotechnology than a view that emphasises technological determinism. In order to understand how society will respond to risk in an uncertain world, it is necessary to look at the forces that drive technology development as well as issues of equity and economic disparities. Since nanotechnology is closely tied to market forces and research is primarily driven by the interests of developed nations and market forces in corporate laboratories, there are additional concerns about the technology. The nanotechnology industry is significant. By 2015, the US National Science Foundation predicts that the market for goods and services related to nanotechnology could reach $1 trillion. It is the sector with the fastest growth in recent memory.


Because it is a technology that supports the biotech industry as well as because it involves atomic manipulation and will enable the fusion of the biological and mechanical worlds, nanotechnology not only presents opportunities for society but also poses significant social and environmental risks. It is imperative to assess how each, and every nanotechnology will affect society. The dominance of nano-robots in daily life could make human intervention challenging, if not impossible. The danger that nanoparticles inhaled in the factory and elsewhere pose to human life and health is another risk. The safety of nanoparticles is also under debate by environmentalists. The first is concerned with the biological and chemical reactions that nanoparticles have on living things or natural ecosystems, and the second is concerned with the problem of leakage, spillage, circulation, and concentration of nanoparticles that could endanger people or ecosystems. Nanotechnology could lead to the development of widespread nano-devices, military weapons, or intrusive surveillance. On the ethical front, concerns about intellectual property and the availability of nanotechnology to developing nations need to be addressed. Another issue that has its roots in strong ethical foundations is the public policies that shield our society from damaging developments.


Nanotechnology is primarily concerned with controlling nature at the most fundamental level, i.e., level of atomic building blocks, whereas technology is fascinated by controlling and overtaking nature. However, because of the new ethical conundrums that nanotechnology has created, there are a lot of unknowns that we will have to deal with in the future. The ethical theories need to be revised in light of the evolving context, which was largely influenced by nanotechnology. As a brand-new area of applied ethics, nano ethics examines questions of right and wrong in the creation and use of nanotechnology. 2007 (Lin and Allhoff).



Discuss Philosophical foundation of Euclidean geometry. Why was Euclidean geometry unable to represent the roughness of reality? Explain. 20



2. a) “Technology gives birth to inequality.” Critically analyze this claim. 10+10= 20



a) “Machine can replace Human being.” Do you agree with this statement or not? Give reasons for your answer.





a) Critically evaluate the claim that “Death is an evil.”

Ans) Death cannot have any positive characteristics if it is an evil because it takes away what we already have. Thomas Nagel tries to address the issues with the natural view that death is bad because it eliminates all the positive aspects of life (Nagel 1979). Death especially robs humans of their desire, activity, goal, and so forth. A person who passes away at age 92 has, to the best of his ability, lived a full life and has had more experiences than a person who passes away at age 32. Death is a terrible tragedy for the person who passed away at the age of 32 because there were many things that person wished to experience and accomplish in his or her life. Since the event of death has eliminated all chance of any of these goals materialising and has undermined all the effort that person had made up to that point in pursuit of his or her goals, death is a terrible tragedy for him or her.


First off, almost everyone would be unconcerned with the difference between immediate death and immediate coma followed by death twenty years later without reawakening. The value of life and its contents does not attach to merely organic survival. Second, this can be multiplied over time like the majority of goods: more is preferable to less. Two additional examples show that we do not oppose death simply because it involves prolonged periods of nonexistence (Nagel 1979). First, as mentioned by Nagel, most people do not consider the temporary suspension of life. Given that our earthly lives are neither eternal nor permanent, I believe it to be possible.


b) What are the three problems about death discussed by Thomas Nagel? 10+10= 20

Ans) On July 4, 1937, a Jewish family gave birth to Nagel in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia). He began his PhD studies at Harvard University in 1963 under the direction of John Rawls after completing his studies at Oxford in 1960. Nagel taught briefly at Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley (from 1963 to 1966) before relocating to New York (from 1966 to 1980).


Thomas Nagel’s Viewpoint of Death

Thomas Nagel starts off his collection of essays with a conversation about death that is incredibly fascinating. Given that death is one of the most obviously significant topics to think about, Nagel adopts an intriguing strategy to determine whether or not dying is actually harmful for a person. It only makes sense that Nagel approaches this topic from all angles in order to increase the credibility of his own observations, and he does a fantastic job of doing so.


Three Problems about Death

Nagel discusses the following three issues. The first is the idea that all evils have their origins in a person's conscious "minding" of those evils. Nagel simplifies this viewpoint by comparing it to the adage "what you don't know can't hurt you." This theory can be illustrated by a number of examples. According to those who hold this opinion, if a person is unaware of something, it is not harmful to them. It is not harmful to him/her if they don't encounter evil. According to Nagel, it won't harm us if we don't experience death. But even though we do not experience death, I believe that it always hurts people in some way.


Death is an Evil

Death cannot have any positive characteristics if it is an evil because it takes away what we already have. Thomas Nagel tries to address the issues with the natural view that death is bad because it eliminates all the positive aspects of life (Nagel 1979). Death especially robs humans of their desire, activity, goal, and so forth. A person who passes away at age 92 has, to the best of his ability, lived a full life and has had more experiences than a person who passes away at age 32. Death is a terrible tragedy for the person who passed away at the age of 32 because there were many things that person wished to experience and accomplish in his or her life. Since the event of death has eliminated all chance of any of these goals materialising and has undermined all the effort that person had made up to that point in pursuit of his or her goals, death is a terrible tragedy for him or her.

3. Answer any two questions in about 250 words each. 2*10= 20


a) Write a note on the ethical implications of Stem Cell Research. 10

Ans) The first section of this article demonstrated how important hereditary factors are to our daily lives. This chapter would explain how changes to genes at the molecular level affect a person's overall metabolic and physical characteristics. It discussed and summarised the inheritance processes. Additionally, it covered how cells are set up and structured internally. Stem cells are also discussed in this section. During early life and growth, stem cells have the remarkable capacity to differentiate into a wide variety of cell types in the body. They also act as a sort of internal repair system in many tissues, dividing virtually indefinitely to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive.


the capacity to repeatedly divide into identical copies without transforming into a different type of cell. Potency: the capacity to divide into cells of a particular type that will create specific body tissues (heart, brains, blood). Adult tissue and embryos created during the blastocyst stage of embryological development (adult stem cells). Both types can differentiate into various cell types, which is how they are typically distinguished from one another (such as skin, muscle, bone, etc.). Two crucial characteristics set stem cells apart from other types of cells. They are unspecialized cells that can, sometimes after extended periods of inactivity, renew themselves through cell division. Second, they can be stimulated to develop into cells that are specific to a tissue or organ and have unique functions under specific physiological or experimental circumstances. Stem cells frequently divide in some organs, including the gut and bone marrow, to replace and repair worn-out or damaged tissues. But in other organs, like the pancreas and the heart, stem cells can only divide in specific circumstances (Humber and Almedev 2006).


b) Critically evaluate the stand of Neurotheology on the mystical experience? 10



c) Elucidate the problem of personal identity with respect to technological development.10



d) Explain the idea of democratization of technology. 10

Ans) Technology is a concern for philosophers, who have developed a variety of perspectives on the subject. Theories of technological determinism and social construction are two prevalent trends in this area. The main focus of philosophers is how society and technology interact, as well as how to approach that situation morally and rationally. Though they view technology as a tool for liberation, Marxists argue for a socialisation of wealth through the elimination of classes. They contrast alienation with the harmony between humans and the natural world. Heidegger, a phenomenologist, believes that technology is not a reduction of artefacts but rather an all-encompassing worldview that reveals the world. Only when we recognise an object's utility within a technological system do they become part of our experience. He also thinks that in order to release from this, a new mode of revealing is required, but he has no idea how revealing come and go. John Dewey, a practitioner of pragmatic philosophy, views logic and scientific theories as instruments employed in particular social practises. Therefore, a technology's usefulness determines its success. In One Dimensional Man (1964), Herbert Marcuse, a member of the Frankfort school of philosophy, makes the case that technology promotes a new kind of dominance in industrial society. He advocates using new science and technology to restore the balance between man and nature. It necessitates the dismantling of class society. Hebermas rejects the new science and technology of the Marcuse and labels it a romantic myth. According to him, the moral-practical sphere of capitalism's modernity is impeded by barriers that prevent rationalisation.


4. Answer any four questions in about 150 words each. 4*5= 20


a) Discuss the philosophical implications of Chaos Theory.

Ans) The classical mechanistic paradigm had been the standard in philosophical discussions until the arrival of chaos theory, particularly in those pertaining to the philosophy of science. Chaos theory can be thought of as an anti-establishment and holistic science because it differs methodologically and epistemologically from classical science. In order to better understand the determinism associated with chaos theory, Mark Stone analyses the term "determinism" and creates a four-part division outlining the various senses in which the term is used. Differential dynamics, singular evolution, value determinateness, and total predictability make up the four divisions. Differential dynamics is the determinism that chaos theory associates with. If a set of differential equations can be used to describe how a system changes over time, differential dynamics would claim that the system is deterministic. A dynamical system's complex behaviour must result from its internal mathematical structure rather than the fact that it approximates a vast number of intricately intertwined subsystems.


b) What is ‘Turing Machine Approach’? Explain 5

Ans) A satisfactory operational definition of intelligence was intended to be provided by the Turing test, which bears Alan Turing's name. According to Turing, intelligence is the capacity to perform all cognitive tasks at a human level in order to deceive a questioner. 10 Turing claims that the "imitation game" can be used to describe the new form of the problem in his book "Computing Machinery and Intelligence." Three actors—a man (A), a woman (B), and a potential interrogator of either sex—play the roles. Separate from the other two, the interrogator sleeps in a room. Finding out which of the other two is the woman and which is the man is the interrogator's goal in the game. He or she refers to them as X and Y and, at the conclusion of the game, declares either that X is A and Y is B or that X is B and Y is A.


c) Critically evaluate the idea of Cultural Dualism. 5



d) Discuss ‘The laws of thought approach’ of Artificial Intelligence. 5

Ans) Every process of reasoning has an inferential quality known as "right thinking." Aristotle provided patterns of argument structures in his famous syllogisms that always result in the right conclusions from given correct premises. The Laws of Thought are essential to syllogisms because they provide the proper justification for each syllogistic inference. The logicians have recognised three Laws of Thought. These have historically been referred to as the laws of identity, contradiction, and excluded middle. These Laws of Thought apply in various situations. The following formulations are appropriate:

  1. According to the law of identity, if a statement is true, then it must also be true. According to this law, every sentence that has the letters P P is true and a tautology.

  2. No statement can be both true and false, according to the law of contradiction. According to this law, every statement with the form P. P is false because it contradicts itself, and its negation follows logically from the original statement.

  3. Any statement is either true or false, according to the law of excluded middle. This law states that every statement with the form P P is a tautology, meaning that every such statement is true.


e) Write a short note on the ethical implications of genetic manipulation. 5



f) Write a note on the idea of Dasein. 5

Ans) Before Heidegger, a number of philosophers, most notably Ludwig Feuerbach, used the term "Dasein" to refer to the "existence" or "presence" of humans. It comes from the word da-sein, which literally translates as being-there or being-there. Heidegger insisted, however, that this was an incorrect translation of Dasein. Dasein is the German word for existence in everyday speech, as in I'm happy to be alive (ich bin mit meinem Dasein zufrieden). Heidegger contends that it must not be confused with a subject that can be defined in terms of consciousness or a self. This distinction, which Heidegger insisted upon, continued Nietzsche's criticism of the topic. Dasein clarifies and interprets what it means to be in time as a human being whose temporality is what makes it up. Heidegger used this word to emphasise the crucial role "being" plays in our comprehension and interpretation of the world by using it as a synonym for "human entity." The textual support for this claim is not strong, but some scholars have been perplexed on this issue and claimed that for Heidegger, "Dasein" denoted some sort of structured awareness or an institutional way of life.


5. Write short notes on any five in about 100 words each. 5*4= 20


a) Heidegger’s idea of death, 4

Ans) Martin Heidegger is the most illustrative example of existentialism in Germany (1889-1976). Of all the existentialists, he also has the greatest influence. Heidegger brings a strong knowledge of the entire scope of philosophical history to his personal reflection. Sein Und Zeit (Being and Time), which was published in 1972, is his most well-known piece. He exhorts us to develop an awareness of death that is primarily related to our sense of life. He also asserts that humans gain a sense of their own uniqueness when they become aware of death. He claims that one thing no one can help you with is dying; we must all pass away on our own.


b) Neurotheology 4



c) Absolute Unitary Being’ 4

Ans) The mystical experience of the absolute unitary being causes the self-other distinction to vanish for the practitioner. She completely loses her sense of self as she becomes one with such a being. It is thought that our sense of space and the ability to distinguish between subject and object in everyday perception are both functions of the posterior superior parietal lobe. The self-other dichotomy is eliminated when the left PSPL is completely deafferented, but an absolute transcendent wholeness is created when the right PSPL is differentiated. Despite the absence of inputs to this region, PSPL can still send neuronal impulses to the limbic and hippocampal structures, which control the happy and joyful emotions.


d) Technology 4



e) Computation Model of Mind 4

Ans) As we've already seen, artificial intelligence is the field that creates computer programmes that mimic intelligent behaviour in an effort to better understand the nature of human intelligence. Additionally, it highlights how analogous the operations of the digital computer are to those of the human brain. One extreme theory claims that the mind is merely a computer programme and that the human brain is nothing more than a digital computer. John Searle describes this viewpoint as having "strong artificial intelligence." Strong artificial intelligence holds that a computer that has been properly programmed and equipped with the necessary inputs and outputs actually has a mind in the same sense that you and I do.


f) The Julia Set 4



g) Hyperreal 4

Ans) Particularly in technologically advanced cultures like our own, the term "hyperreality" is used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe a hypothetical inability of consciousness to distinguish between reality and fantasy. In a world where numerous media can drastically shape and filter an initial event or experience, hyperreality is a term used to describe the way consciousness defines what is actually "real." Famous proponents of the theory of hyperreality include Umberto Eco, Daniel Boorstin, Albert Borgmann, and Jean Baudrillard (Hyperreality 2010). The majority of hyper realistic features can be characterised as "reality by proxy" (Smiles and Moser 2005). In particular, Baudrillard contends that the world we currently inhabit has been replaced by a copy world in which we are only interested in simulated stimuli. The example given by Baudrillard is of a society whose cartographers produce a map that is so detailed that it includes everything it was intended to represent (Lane 2009).

h) Artificial Intelligence 4

Ans) A technological singularity will unavoidably result from an artificial intelligence that is capable of self-improvement beyond human capacity. Many people think that the Singularity could be reached with just one of these AIs. The majority of Singularitarians think that developing such AI will be the most likely way for humanity to reach the Singularity. For some, the potential for human intelligence enhancement, including brain-computer interfacing, is one of these technologies that they are most looking forward to. An individual's memory, computational ability, communication skills, and knowledge base may all be enhanced by direct brain-computer interfaces. The development of more conventional human-computer interfaces, such as speech and handwriting recognition software, traditional expert systems, and computer systems that recognise and forecast human behavioural patterns, may also be seen as an improvement in intelligence.

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