Human Nature and Technology
- Grade 9+
- History and Social Science
This philosophy course explores questions of human nature in light of recent technological breakthroughs in communication, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and modern warfare. You will consider how our ability to transform our environment affects the way we perceive and value human life. From current and historical contexts, you’ll evaluate philosophical questions like: how did the agricultural revolution impact social order? When do cybernetic implants transform a man into a machine? In what sense is your online identity “you”? Does social networking enhance or replace authentic human interaction? Working with your classmates, you’ll critically assess these issues while developing your ability to construct and evaluate formal arguments. In this interdisciplinary course, you will study texts from literature, history, and science. Through critical reading and analytical writing, debates, group activities, and research projects, you’ll explore the relationship between human nature and technology, and gain an appreciation for humanity, how we work, and what our future holds.
Typical Class Size: 16-18
- Examine the relationships between human beings and modern technology through interdisciplinary texts and media
- Explore issues surrounding cutting-edge technological progress and human nature that are currently impacting our civilization
- Analyze and discuss readings in human history, philosophy, cognitive science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and beyond
- Discuss and debate philosophical and ethical issues with classmates to grow as a community of critical thinkers
- Collaborate with peers to develop and present multiple projects that explore humanity’s relationship with continually changing technology
Summer Dates & Locations
Testing and Prerequisites
|Required Level||CTY-Level||or CTY-Level|
Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.Sign up for Testing Learn More
Cost and Financial Aid
- Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
- Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)
Financial Aid is available
We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.
Please acquire all course materials by the course start date, unless noted as perishable. Items marked as “perishable” should not be acquired until the student needs them in the course. If you have questions about these materials or difficulty locating them, please contact [email protected].
These titles have been featured in past sessions of the course, and may be included this summer. CTY provides students with all texts; no purchase is required.
- Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition – An Anthology, Robert C. Scharff
- Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence, Andy Clark
- On the Internet, Hubert L. Dreyfus
About History and Social Science at CTY
Enhance your critical thinking skills
Expand your ability to reason through difficult problems by taking one of our philosophy or logic classes. Learn how to craft strong and clear arguments in Big Questions, or explore the techniques of logic that lawyers, doctors, and mathematicians utilize to be successful in their fields in Logic: Principles of Reasoning.
Explore social justice in action
Develop knowledge and skills that will help you address issues of systemic inequality throughout the world. Engage in the study of those who worked within and outside of the legal system to effect monumental societal change in Great Cases: American Legal History.