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Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition


Author: Robert C. Scharff

Publisher: Wiley


Publish Date: January 28, 2014

ISBN-10: 111854725X

Pages: 736

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

The first edition of this collection grew out of the ­editors’ experienced needs as teachers of the philosophy of technology. Since its appearance, schools of thought and lines of research have started to differentiate themselves more clearly in this young field, new problems have been identified, and older ones reconceived. Our second edition takes many of these developments into account. Yet in certain basic ways, the original design of our anthology still seems right to us. Although the number of well-stocked anthologies has grown, we ­continue to believe that our collection best addresses two unfortunately common philosophical lacunae. First, most anthologies contain very little material from classical sources (e.g., Aristotle, Bacon, Kant, Comte, Marx) in terms of which technology, or basic concepts that ­contribute to our current ways of conceiving technological practices, are already discussed. Second, in many cases, the main focus is on specific technological issues and case studies, with the result – truth be told – that the selections are sometimes philosophically thin. In our view, especially when it comes to the philosophical consideration of technology, structuring an anthology after the familiar model of the applied ethics reader is likely to have unfortunate pedagogical consequences. In the typical application of this model, one starts with familiar, extra-philosophically identifiable “problems,” samples the variety of “values” or “criteria” in terms of which it has been claimed these problems can be handled, and then more or less leaves it up to the instructor to explain how philosophy somehow gets involved in ­testing the selection and “justification” of these values or criteria.

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