The Machine grips us with horror.

For some it promises salvation, for others it spells doom.

It seems as if rational explanations are not capable of grasping what appears to be happening to us and the whole world.

Those with a more imaginative understanding cannot help but find themselves being devoured by a multi-limbed demonic and off-worldly entity. 

But what seems clear is that the machine uses the human being as its most important resource. And that there are forces out there who actively want to get rid of the human being.

The course will teach you the mental and linguistic tools to remain human and understand the workings of the Machine.

In order to understand the Machine we will read texts by Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Oswald Spengler, Gilles Deleuze, CG Jung, Friedrich Engels and more. 

"The human being is the toy of technology.
Technology threatens the human being in his essence."

- Martin Heidegger

Choose the Study Option that's right for You

Welcome to The Machine

A video message from your lecturer Sean.

“The technocrat is the natural friend of the dictator—computers and dictatorship" - Gilles Deleuze

The notions of all-powerful AI and technological singularity as well as universal environmental catastrophe have become ubiquitous for quite some time now.

The machine has taken us onto a technological journey. A journey which is said to drive progress and allegedly is approaching an end point. This end point has been referred to as the technological singularity. It is the event after which technics runs off and escapes human agency. In times of deepfakes and ChatGPT, the voices are getting louder, prophesizing the arrival of AGI (artificial general intelligence) as well as the singularity.

But why? Where do these narratives originate from? How did technology attain this central role in our world? As always, philosophy mirrors what has been playing itself out within ourselves. Our science, ideology, technology, system and myth have been captured by the machinations of the machine. Join us in this years' course and we will dive into the depths of these machinations!

Can this uncanniness be turned into something that is more prepared for what is happening to all of us?

Is there another world possible outside the mechanistic fluctuations of a robotic world-machine?

These are the questions we will address in the course.

“In reality it is out of the power either of heads or hands to alter in any way the destiny of machine-technics, for this has developed out of inward spiritual necessities and is now correspondingly maturing towards its fulfilment and end.” - Oswald Spengler 

Your Teacher: Seán McFadden 

Sean McFadden has bachelor degree in theoretical astrophysics from Marburg University and is currently finishing his Masters in Neuroengineering at the Technical University in Munich. He works for the Psychometrics Center in Cambridge, before which he researched phenomenological theories of consciousness at the Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge University. His academic studies of artificial intelligence, complex systems and the philosophy of mathe- matics combined with his private studies of myth, religion and psychology have lead him to go into the depths of attempting to make sense of the rapidly changing modern world.