Technological Gaze: Understanding How Technologies Transform Perception

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearch


We are transformed not only through our relations with each other, but also through our relations with technologies. Rather than a Sartrean (1992) or Merleau-Pontian (2002) approach to using the concept of the gaze in order to refer to an objectifying or inhumanizing effect on the human subject from something or someone other than the human themself, I use the term to describe how our use of technology transforms our perception of the world, adding an "inhuman" element to our own gaze. This shift moves the focus from an externally directed inhuman gaze to looking within the subject—intrasubjectively—at the transformation that occurs through our experiences with, and the potentialities of, technologies. In this chapter, I draw upon concepts from contemporary fields of inquiry that subscribe to an interrelational ontology; specifically, critical posthumanism and postphenomenology. I leverage the concept of an embodied and pragmatic technological relation in order to help better understand the enabling and constraining effects of this transformation. I argue that these technologies continue to mediate our perception of the world even when we are not using them. The term technological gaze identifies this concept, allowing us to become more aware of the effects of technologies that often go unnoticed. By increasing our awareness, we have an increased chance at regaining some of our agency and potentially making better-informed decisions concerning what and how we invite technologies into our lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerception and the Inhuman Gaze
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Philosophy, Phenomenology, and the Sciences
EditorsAnya Daly, Fred Cummins, James Jardine, Dermot Moran
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780367815707
ISBN (Print)9780367405625
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in contemporary philosophy


  • Philosophy of Technology
  • phenomenology
  • postphenomenology


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