Eoin Carney

Tutor and Research Student - Understanding Technologies Better: Paul Ricoeur on technique and interpretation



Eoin is a PhD student in Philosophy. He is also a Tutor and teaches on the following modules:

Research Topic

Understanding Technologies Better: Paul Ricoeur on technique and interpretation


Dr Todd Mei & Prof Nicholas Davey

Link for Eoin:




Eoin's Thesis - Understanding Technologies Better: Paul Ricoeur on technique and interpretation

My research focuses primarily on the work of Paul Ricoeur and aims to create a link between traditional hermeneutic conceptions of language and contemporary, practical understandings of technologies. Whereas in cases where we approach texts, discourses, or the speech of a partner in dialogue it is readily accepted that certain techniques may have to be called upon in order to produce correct interpretations, when it comes to our practices and professional settings there can often be unease with regard to the ‘role’ that technologies play in the shaping of action and human behaviours. This research investigates the ways in which our practical understandings of languages depend on supplementary techniques or explanations, in order to argue that the relationship between technological devices, humans, and action can be conceived of in a more productive, hermeneutic way.

Research Interests: Paul Ricoeur, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, postphenomenology, philosophy of technology, ethics, the philosophical identity of the self, public reason, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Wolfgang Iser.



Book Chapters/Articles

 “Knowing Ignorance: The Fragility of Technological Application”, in Alexander Friedrich, Petra Gehring, Christoph Hubig, Andreas Kaminski, Alfred Nordmann (eds.) Technisches Nichtwissen (Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2016) pp.41-54.


“Technique and Understanding: Paul Ricoeur on Freud and the Analytic Experience”, Études Ricoeuriennes/Ricoeur Studies, Vol 7, No 1 (2016), pp. 87-102.


 “Depending on Practice: Paul Ricoeur and the Ethics of Care”, Les Ateliers de l’ethique/The Ethics Forum 10.3 (2015), pp. 29-48.


Conference Papers


“Uncertain Wisdom: Verbeek and Ricoeur on the Boundary between Technologies and Practical Application”, Crossing Boundaries: Ricoeur in a Global Age, Chicago, October 2016.


“System and Interpretation: Paul Ricoeur on the complementary tasks of explaining more and living well”, What is it to be human? On the humanities and practical self-understanding, Utrecht, April 2016.


“Technologies and the End of the Artist”, The End(s) of Art, University of Dundee, March 2016.


“Freudian Psychoanalysis as a Resource for Understanding the Dialogue between Religious Language and Public Reason”, SEP-FEP, University of Dundee, September 2015. 


“Translating Technique: Paul Ricoeur’s ethics of technical thinking”, Dundee Postgraduate Conference, Dundee, May 2015. 


“Is Technology Symbolic? Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of the symbol and its critical relation to modern technology”, Society for Ricoeur Studies Conference, Loyola University, New Orleans, October 2014.


“Technological Mediation: Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of symbols and signs”, Paul Ricoeur: Thinker of the Margins? University of Antwerp, Belgium, September 2014.


“Technics and Theodicy: The opposition between ‘modern technology’ and the ‘symbolism of evil’ in the work of Paul Ricoeur”, Evil: Interdisciplinary Explorations, University of Oxford, June 2014.