Understanding Everyday Use of the Computer: How Philosophy Can Be Practical

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Breems, Nick
technology; human behavior; philosophy; comprehension; Christianity; Computer Sciences
conference paper description
The issues which must be considered when attempting to understand the totality of behavior when a human uses a computer are both multifarious and diverse. We thus have difficulties in gaining insight into the meaning that use of the computer creates in our lives, particularly in everyday use. Such understanding is important because insight based on holistic understanding is our best hope for exploiting the God-created potentials for human flourishing that is part of the promise of computing technology. As computer and internet technologies continue to embed themselves in the fabric of our everyday living, the number and complexity of use situations grows, and all facets of these situations must be apprehended and appreciated in order to respond wisely and act normatively. In this presentation, I will summarize the Human Use of Computers Framework (HUCF) developed by Basden (2008), a tool for producing insight into complex everyday computer use situations, and show several examples of this framework in use. This will demonstrate how the HUCF can help prevent overlooking areas that are crucial for understanding the human experience of using the computer, and will exhibit the practical implications of a philosophically-based tool for understanding.