Inside the Politics of Technology

Agency and Normativity in the Co-Production of Technology and Society

Edited by Hans Harbers

Inside the Politics of Technology
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Edited by Hans Harbers

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

304 pages | 6-1/4 x 9-1/4 | © 2005
Paper $76.95 ISBN: 9789053567562 Published November 2005 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Though the old saying claims that man is the measure of all things, the authors of Inside the Politics of Technology argue that the distinction implied between autonomous humans and neutral instruments of technology is an illusion. On the contrary, the technologies humans create simultaneously shape humans themselves.

By means of case studies of technologies as diverse as video cameras, electric cars, pregnancy tests, and genetic screenings, this volume considers the implications of this "co-production" of technology and society for our philosophical and political ideas. Are only humans endowed with social, political, and moral agency, or does our technology share those qualities? And if so, how should we understand—or practice—a politics of technology?
Introduction:  Co-Production, Agency, and Normativity
Hans Harbers
The Distribution of Agency
Back to the Drawing Board:  Inventing a Sociology of Technology
Cornelis Disco
Artifacts as Social Agents
Philip Brey
Diversity and Distributed Agency in the Design and Use of Medical Video-Communication Technologies
Nelly Oudshoorn, Margo Brouns, and Ellen van Oost
The Mediation of Agency
Choices and Choosing in Cancer Genetics
Dirk Stemerding and Annemiek Nelis
Artifacts and Attachment:  A Post-Script Philosophy of Mediation
Peter-Paul Verbeek
Art and Technology Playing Leapfrog:  A History and Philosophy of Technoèsis
Petran Kockelkoren
The Politics of Agency
Taking the Socio-Technical Seriously:  Exploring the Margins for Change in Traffic and Transport Domain
Boelie Elzen
Trapped in the Duality of Structure:  An STS Approach to Engineering and Ethics
Tsjalling Swierstra and Jaap Jelsma
The Cultural Politics of Prenatal Screening
Marcus Popkema and Hans Harbers
Epilogue:  Political Materials--Material Politics
Hans Harbers
About the Authors
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
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