Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ethics and Political Philosophy

Second Advisor

Copyright © 2014 Bryan Kibbe

Third Advisor

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


My thesis is that the concept and practice of repair, properly understood and circumscribed, can serve to: (1) specify a responsibility to care for individuals who are cognitively dependent on particular configurations of technologies and suffer cognitively significant harms following damage to various technologies, and (2) to act as a standard by which to regulate the design, implementation, and selection of technologies available for human use and appropriation. I begin (Chapters One and Two) by providing a critical investigation of the concept and practice of repair. In Chapters Three and Four, I set forth a proposal to consider what I term "cognitive-agentic repair" as the mindful mending of agentic skills/autonomy competency by way of those constitutive cognitive processes that are extended/situated in objects and arrangements of objects that constitute particular material spaces and places (home, workplace). As such, I argue that when either intentional or unintentional harms are committed against individuals who are cognitively situated in the world, there is a prima facie responsibility to attempt the specific act of cognitive-agentic repair so as to support the possibility of personal autonomy. To justify this ethical responsibility, I advance an account of human persons that is grounded in both feminist philosophy and recent work in the cognitive sciences on the hypotheses of extended and embedded cognition. I then move to consider how my account of repair can constructively inform the design, implementation, and selection of particular technologies by acting as a regulative standard. This analysis is divided into two parts: (1) a theoretical construction that utilizes work in the philosophy of technology to distinguish the pattern of those technologies that would facilitate cognitive-agentic repair (Chapter Five) and (2) a practical application to telemedical/telehealth technologies (Chapter Six).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.