The digital revolution is undoubtedly the most disruptive technological shift in the history of mankind. The internet, combined with advances in computational powers, has also profoundly affected and altered human behaviour. This difference is what makes the disruptive nature of digital particularly interesting to study. It is precisely because the penetration of digital technologies runs so deep into our daily lives, and because its ability to manipulate, control and distort is so complete, that the digital revolution now calls for a creative theological and philosophical responses. 

We live today under the spell of cybernetics. If we are to be masters of our machines, we must first understand the meaning of mechanics, cybernetics, and the philosophy of computers. ‘Spiritual Cybernetics’ is, I propose, the spiritual animation of computers and information systems, in which the ‘spirit’ of computers is the free ‘steering’ of human and more-than-human users, and such use is free insofar as it knows how to use its tools for its own ends. 

Thinkers we will consider

For the purpose of showing how to emancipate human use from cybernetic slavery, this course will offer students a critical examination of the philosophy of computers and cybernetics,

G.W.F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger,
Ernst Jünger, Jean Baudrillard, Marshall McLuhan, Gilles Deleuze, Nick Land, Mark Fisher, Bernard Stiegler

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Your Course Instructor:
Dr. Ryan Haecker

Dr. Ryan Haecker is a theologian and philosopher. He is Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Austin. His research explores the intersections of ancient Platonism, medieval scholasticism, and modern idealism for modern theology. He received a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies from Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Divinity. He has previously studied history, philosophy, and theology at the University of Texas, the University of Würzburg, and the University of Nottingham. His research interests extend to Trinitarian Ontology, Philosophy of Logic, Platonism, Patristics, German Idealism, Systematic and Historical Theology. He is currently editing a two-volume collection, ‘New Trinitarian Ontologies’.