By Andrew Feenberg
During this new choice 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 long run. A pioneer within the philosophy of know-how, Feenberg demonstrates the ongoing power of the serious idea of the Frankfurt university. He calls into query the anti-technological stance more often than not linked to its theoretical legacy and argues that expertise includes prospects that may be built because the foundation for another kind of smooth society.Feenberg's serious reflections at the principles of J?rgen Habermas, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Fran?ois Lyotard, and Kitaro Nishida shed new gentle at the philosophical examine of expertise and modernity. He contests the time-honored perception 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 learn, 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 contain moral and aesthetic values.
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Additional info for Alternative Modernity: The Technical Turn in Philosophy and Social Theory
Each chapter is relatively self-contained, although they are intended to illuminate each other usefully. The case studies discuss the early image of nuclear disaster in post-World War II science fiction, dystopian themes in the popular spy films of the 1960s, the impact of AIDS on medical experimentation on human subjects, the suprising success of the Minitel in France, and the Japanese reponse to modernization as illustrated by Yasunari Kawabata's famous novel The Master of Go. Throughout these investigations, my theme is the inextricable intermingling of scientific-technical rationality and culture.
I reinterpret various theoreticians, including Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, Jean-François Lyotard, and major Japanese thinkers, in terms of their relation to this trend. In an attempt to avoid mere abstract talk about technology in general, the inquiry proceeds in part through case studies. Each of the four sections contains one essay on a philosopher and another on a concrete literary, cultural, or technical phenomenon that illustrates the problems raised in the philosophical discussion. Each chapter is relatively self-contained, although they are intended to illuminate each other usefully.
They wield their influence by proffering or withholding resources, defining the purposes of the devices they require, fitting them into existing technical arrangements to their own benefit, imposing new directions on existing technical means, and so on. Technologies, like other rational institutions, are social expressions of these actors. 1 I have proposed the term "technical code" to describe those features of technologies that reflect the hegemonic values and beliefs that prevail in the design process.
Alternative Modernity: The Technical Turn in Philosophy and Social Theory by Andrew Feenberg