Chapter published in:The Pragmatics of Adaptability
Edited by N. Daniel Silva and Jacob L. Mey
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 319] 2021
► pp. 75–98
The reality of technological worldviews
Time and space frames of reference in the world of self-driving cars
There appears to be a silent shift in technological discourse, from adapting technology to people’s needs to adapting people’s needs to new technologies. This shift in ‘direction-of-fit’ is effected by spatio-temporal text-world builders. The analysis of a technological article on self-driving cars serves as an example of a discourse-space approach to identifying the fundamental coordinates of worldview construction, involving Space, Time and Attitude. Results allow a critical evaluation of a one-directional heuristic that suggests user benefits. However, the frame-of-reference and point-of-view mask the socio-political consequences of introducing self-driving cars. The analysis reveals the subjective ground of the argument and challenges a self-assertive, dehumanised positivist attitude to technological innovation. It is argued that the spatial nature of worldview construction directs towards desires and intentions for action.
Keywords: worldview, intentionality, technological discourse, discourse-space, time
Published online: 17 March 2021
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