Accepted paper:

Postphenomenology and the empirical turn

Authors:

Anette Forss (Karolinska Institutet)

Paper short abstract:

While STS and postphenomenology share an interest in science and technology in/as practice, ethnography is less discussed in the latter. My talk describes the integration of postphenomenology and ethnography in a multi-sited fieldwork on human technology relations in oncology

Paper long abstract:

Ethnography has a long tradition in STS as a fruitful way to study science and technology in/as practice. While STS and postphenomenology share an interest in science and technology in/as practice, ethnography is less discussed in postphenomenology My talk is about why/how postphenomenology and ethnography was combined in a long-term multi sited fieldwork in nursing on human-technology relations in oncology related health care settings. First, it meant outlining an eventual integration of disciplines that seems incommensurable. That is, philosophy as being concerned with human nature beyond time and place, ethnography (in social anthropological sense) as being about situated people and about social relations in context, and nursing as a value-informed profession and discipline. Second, it meant outlining technology in philosophy, ethnography and nursing, all of which are commonly concerned with the human, rather than the non-human. While postphenomenology (as philosophy of technology) is founded on the co-constitution of humans and technologies, ethnography commonly means to study socio-cultural relations between people, and the discipline of nursing (in Scandinavia) is - I argue - anchored in anthropocentric humanism. The third question is that of 'methodology'. While philosophy neither requires empirical data nor 'a method', ethnography and nursing science generally does. I argue that the connecting points, the breakdown of barriers, between the disciplines is found in the empirical turn towards cases in postphenomenology, the ontological turn in sociocultural oriented anthropology/ethnography towards the non-human - both of which has already taken place - and the eventual yet-to-come ontological turn in nursing; embracing the non-human

panel T131
Science has always been technoscience