By Andrew Feenberg
During this new number of essays, Andrew Feenberg argues that conflicts over the layout and association of the technical platforms that constitution our society form deep offerings for the longer term. A pioneer within the philosophy of know-how, Feenberg demonstrates the ongoing energy of the serious conception of the Frankfurt college. He calls into query the anti-technological stance normally linked to its theoretical legacy and argues that know-how comprises possibilities that may be built because the foundation for an alternate type of sleek society.Feenberg's serious reflections at the principles of J?rgen Habermas, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Fran?ois Lyotard, and Kitaro Nishida shed new mild at the philosophical examine of expertise and modernity. He contests the everyday notion of know-how as an unstoppable strength responsive simply to its personal inner dynamic and politicizes the dialogue of its social and cultural construction.This argument is substantiated in a sequence of compelling and well-grounded case reviews. via his exploration of technological know-how fiction and picture, AIDS examine, the French event with the "information superhighway," and the japanese reception of Western values, he demonstrates how know-how, while subjected to public strain and debate, can comprise moral and aesthetic values.
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Extra resources for Alternative Modernity: The Technical Turn in Philosophy and Social Theory
The flavor of these various theories can best be gathered from Heidegger Let us look, for example, at his formulation of the distinction between traditional tools and modern technologies. Instrumentalism holds that means operate not on the substance of desire but on the pace, scale, and conditions of its fulfillment. But beyond a certain point, changes in pace, scale, and conditions transform means into contexts independent of the particular ends they serve. Heidegger (1977: 135) calls this the "giganticism" of modern technology.
Successful protest or reappropriation modifies the technical code to reflect interests excluded at earlier stages in the design process. As these new interests are internalized in the code, it masks their source in public protest. The waves close over forgotten controversies and the technologists return to the comforting be- Page 11 lief in their own autonomy, which seems to be verified by the conditions of everyday technical work. Who today, even in the hospitals where women once struggled to change procedures, recalls the sometimes fierce resistance to admitting husbands to labor rooms?
Page 10 and feelings. What makes a society modern is the institutionalized distinction between these spheres reflected in different rationalization processes that support the progressive development of knowledge and technology, on the one hand, and political and personal freedom, on the other. This differentiation is apparently threatened by public involvement in technology because political opinions and situated knowledges are less differentiated and methodically disciplined than specialized scientific-technical knowledge, and mix values and facts.