Philosophy of technology

Philosophy of technology

The philosophy of technology is a philosophical field dedicated to studying the nature of technology and its social effects.


Considered under the rubric of the Greek term "techne" (art, or craft knowledge), the philosophy of technology goes to the very roots of Western philosophy. In his "Republic", Plato sees techne as the basis for the philosophers' proper rule in the city. In the Nicomachean Ethics (Book 6), Aristotle describes "techne" as one of the four ways that we can know about the world. The Stoics argued that virtue is a kind of "techne" based upon a proper understanding of the universe.

20th century development

Whereas 19th Century philosophers such as Karl Marx were philosophically interested in tools and techniques, the most prominent 20th century philosophers to directly address modern technology were John Dewey and Martin Heidegger. Both saw technology as central to modern life, although (to speak roughly) Dewey was optimistic about the role of technology, Heidegger pessimistic (although Heidegger could be seen as critical but open to technology; see Hubert Dreyfus and technology). Dewey's work on technology was dispersed throughout his corpus, while Heidegger's major work on technology may be found in "The Question Concerning Technology".

In the 1960's, Marshall McLuhan became a major radical voice in the field, with such works as the bestseller "The Medium is the Message", as well as "The Gutenberg Galaxy" and "".

Contemporary philosophy

Contemporary philosophers with an interest in technology include Jean Baudrillard, Albert Borgmann, Andrew Feenberg, Langdon Winner, Donna Haraway, Larry Hickman, Don Ihde, Paul Levinson, Carl Mitcham, Leo Marx, Gilbert Simondon, Jacques Ellul and Bernard Stiegler.

While a number of important individual works were published in the second half of the twentieth century, Paul Durbin has identified two books published at the turn of the century as marking the development of the philosophy of technology as an academic subdiscipline with canonical texts [ [ Techné Vol 7 No 1] ] ; these were "Technology and the Good Life" (2000), edited by Eric Higgs, Andrew Light, and David Strong and "American Philosophy of Technology" (2001) by Hans Achterhuis.

ee also

*Critique of technology
*Ethics of technology
*Industrial sociology
*Theories of technology
*History of technology
*Technological evolution
*Philosophy of engineering


Further reading

*Joseph Agassi (1985). "Technology: Philosophical and Social Aspects, Episteme, Dordrecht: Kluwer, , ISBN 90-277-2044-4.
*Hans Achterhuis "American Philosophy of Technology" (2001). Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-33903-4
*Jan Kyrre Berg-Olsen and Evan Selinger. (2006). "Philosophy of Technology: 5 Questions". New York: Automatic Press / VIP, []
*Borgmann, Albert. (1984). "Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life". University of Chicago Press.
*Ellul, Jacques. (1964). "The Technological Society". Vintage Books.
*Feenberg, Andrew. (1999). "Questioning Technology". Routledge Press.
*Heidegger, Martin. (1977). "The Question Concerning Technology". Harper and Row.
*Hickman, Larry. (1992). "John Dewey's Pragmatic Technology". Indiana University Press.
*Eric Higgs, Andrew Light and David Strong. (2000). "Technology and the Good Life" Chicago University Press.
* David M. Kaplan, ed. (2004). "Readings in the Philosophy of Technology". Rowman & Littlefield.
*Manuel de Landa "War in the Age of Intelligent Machines". (1991). Zone Books. ISBN 978-0942-29975-5.
*Levinson, Paul. (1988). "Mind at Large: Knowing in the Technological Age". JAI Press.
*Lyotard, Jean-Francois. (1984). "". University of Minnesota Press.
*McLuhan, Marshall.
**"The Gutenberg Galaxy". (1962). Mentor.
**"". (1964). McGraw Hill.
*Mitcham, Carl. (1994). "Thinking Through Technology". University of Chicago Press.
*Nye, David. (2006). "Technology Matters". The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-64067-1
*Scharff, Robert C. and Val Dusek eds. (2003). Philosophy of Technology. The Technological Condition. An Antology. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-631-22219-4
*Seemann, Kurt. (2003) Basic Principles in Holistic Technology Education. [ "Journal of Technology Education"] ] , V14.No.2.
*Simondon, Gilbert.
**"Du mode d'existence des objets techniques". (1958). fr icon
**"L'individu et sa genèse physico-biologique (l'individuation à la lumière des notions de forme et d'information)", (1964). Paris PUF fr icon
*Stiegler, Bernard, (1998). "". Stanford University Press.
*Winner, Langdon. (1977). "Autonomous Technology". MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262-23078-0

External links


* [ Ends and Means]
* [ NetFuture - Technology and Human Responsibility]
* [ Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology]


* [ Society for Philosophy and Technology]
* [ Essays on the Philosophy of Technology] compiled by Frank Edler

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