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Technology and the Good Life?

Can we use technology in the pursuit of a good life, or are we doomed to having our lives organized and our priorities set by the demands of machines and systems? How can philosophy help us to make technology a servant rather than a master?

Technology and the Good Life? uses a careful collective analysis of Albert Borgmann’s controversial and influential ideas as a jumping-off point from which to address questions such as these about the role and significance of technology in our lives. Contributors both sympathetic and critical examine Borgmann’s work, especially his "device paradigm"; apply his theories to new areas such as film, agriculture, design, and ecological restoration; and consider the place of his thought within philosophy and technology studies more generally.

Because this collection carefully investigates the issues at the heart of how we can take charge of life with technology, it will be a landmark work not just for philosophers of technology but for students and scholars in the many disciplines concerned with science and technology studies.

384 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2000

Philosophy of Science

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Introduction: Technology and the Good Life?
I. Philosophy of Technology Today
1. Borgmann’s Philosophy of Technology
David Strong and Eric Higgs
2. Philosophy of Technology: Retrospective and Prospective Views
Paul T. Durbin
II. Evaluating Focal Things
3. Focal Things and Focal Practices
Lawrence Haworth
4. Technology and Nostalgia
Gordon G. Brittan Jr.
5. Focaltechnics, Pragmatechnics, and the Reform of Technology
Larry Hickman
6. Borgmann’s Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen: On the Prepolitical Conditions of a Politics of Place
Andrew Light
7. On Character and Technology
Carl Mitcham
III. Theory in the Service of Practice
8. The Moving Image: Between Devices and Things
Phillip R. Fandozzi
9. Farming as Focal Practice
Paul B. Thompson
10. Design and the Reform of Technology: Venturing Out into the Open
Jesse S. Tatum
11. Nature by Design
Eric Higgs
IV. Extensions and Controversies
12. Technological Ethics in a Different Voice
Diane P. Michelfelder
13. Crossing the Postmodern Divide with Borgmann, or Adventures in Cyberspace
Douglas Kellner
14. Technology and Temporal Ambiguity
Mora Campbell
15. Trapped in Consumption: Modern Social Structure and the Entrenchment of the Device
Thomas Michael Power
16. From Essentialism to Constructivism: Philosophy of Technology at the Crossroads
Andrew Feenberg
17. Philosophy in the Service of Things
David Strong
V. Postscript
18. Reply to My Critics
Albert Borgmann

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