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Technê, Technology, and Truth from Aristotle to Foucault'

A public lecture by Prof. Seán D. Kelly

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Feb 02, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM


Room Q233 UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, Belfield.

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Prof. Seán D. Kelly will be giving a public lecture on the philosophy of creativity (entitled Technê, Technology, and Truth from Aristotle to Foucault) at 5pm on Tuesday 2 February in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, Belfield. The abstract for the talk is appended below and a copy of the paper is attached.

All are very welcome and please feel free to circulate this notice further. For those wishing to attend, please register for the event here so that we might have a good indication of numbers.

Technê, Technology, and Truth from Aristotle to Foucault'

Sean D. Kelly : Harvard University

Technology and human existence stand in a deep and revealing relation with one another. It is not just that human beings are tool-using creatures, or that human history is basically co-extensive with the history of technological innovation. Rather, and more fundamentally, technology is a central means by which human beings establish the truth of what is, and in particular of what human beings are. To understand this claim properly, however, we need to know what truth is and how technê – the Greek word for skill or craft – is related to it. This paper starts with Aristotle’s account of these phenomena, digs back towards a deeper and more revealing account of them in the work of the poets, prophets, and kings of the Archaic Greek era, and ends with the appropriation of this deeper account in the works of Heidegger and Foucault. It develops the claim that the master craftsmen, through the masterly practice of his or her craft, can literally establish what is true.


Seán Dorrance Kelly is the Theresa G. and Ferdinand F. Martignetti Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. He served as Chair of the Philosophy Department at Harvard from 2009-2015. Before arriving at Harvard, Kelly taught at Stanford and Princeton, and he was a Visiting Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. His work focuses on various aspects of the philosophical, phenomenological, and cognitive neuroscientific nature of human experience. Kelly has published articles in numerous journals and anthologies and has received fellowships or awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the NSF and the James S. McDonnell Foundation, among others. His book, All Things Shining: Reading the Western Canon to Find Meaning in Our Secular Age, jointly written with Hubert Dreyfus, was a New York Times bestseller.

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