Andrew Feenberg's Critical Theory of Technology
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: State University of New York Press
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The idea for this volume was first conceived at a Society for Philosophy and Technology conference in 1999, where I presented a paper critiquing Feenberg’s latest work, Questioning Technology. Feenberg responded; and from this engagement we began an ongoing dialogue that ultimately resulted in this volume. ...
1. Rethinking Modernity as the Construction of Technological Systems
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Andrew Feenberg has carved out a unique and philosophically productive position in the philosophy of technology that is informed by both the essentialist philosophy of technology developed by Heidegger and the Frankfurt School, and by various social historical accounts of science and technology such as those developed Weibe Bijker, T. P. Hughes, and Bruno Latour.1 ...
2. The Posthuman Challenge to Andrew Feenberg
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Andrew Feenberg’s work on technology has been motivated by a desire to reveal its contingent nature. To insist on contingency opens up the possibility of an “alternative modernity,” a differentiated social and cultural framework that can engage productively with technology and not simply be subject to an unavoidable technological logic of rationalization and domination. ...
3. An Ecofeminist Response
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I come to Andrew Feenberg’s work as a Heideggerian ecofeminist. Heidegger’s critique of science and technology has been useful to several ecofeminist writers, some more, some less explicitly. In my case, his work has been more than influential, in fact formative, primarily because of his analysis of the Western intellectual tradition. He argues that this tradition culminates in modernity in a logic of domination. ...
4. What’s Wrong with Being a Technological Essentialist? A Response to Feenberg
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Questioning Technology is Andrew Feenberg’s third major work on the critical theory of technology in a decade, and it confirms his place as one of the world’s leading philosophers of technology.1 In an earlier examination of this important text, I traced out some of the philosophical and political tensions in the legacy of technology critique leading from Heidegger through Marcuse to Feenberg, ...
5. From Critical Theory to Pragmatism: Feenberg’s Progress
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Over the course of more than two decades, during which he has published an impressive number of books and essays, Andrew Feenberg has established himself as an important representative of a new generation of critical theorists. Consistently insightful and articulate, ...
6. Democracy and Technology
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Andrew Feenberg takes up the important task of developing a nonessentialist philosophy of technology. His aim, in a series of books written over the last decade, is a more democratic politics of technical decision making and a more rational design of our built environment.1 ...
7. Feenberg and the Reform of Technology
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Reform is often thought to be the touchstone of the significance a theory of technology can claim.1 More precisely, the putative test is whether real reforms follow from a particular theory. Larry Hickman’s recent book illustrates the phenomenon. It ends with a chapter titled “The Next Technological Revolution.”2 ...
8. Commodification and Secondary Rationalization
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This chapter presents a sketch of some ideas on commodities and commodification that I have been thinking about for a long time. I argue that an account of what I call technological commodification can move Andrew Feenberg’s critical theory of philosophy along a step or two, and at the same time link it more firmly with the actor network theory of Latour, as well as with certain themes ...
9. Democratic Technology, Population, and Environmental Change
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T. C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth,1 tells the story of Tyrone Tierwater, a one time monkeywrencher and environmental avenger for “E. F.!” (Earth Forever!) whom we first meet in 2025 in his mid-seventies. Tierwater is now working for a character based on Michael Jackson, who in his semiretirement has employed the elder eco-warrior to help save some of the last remnants of a few dying species ...
10. Technological Malleability and the Social Reconstruction of Technologies
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This is an appreciation, gentle critique, and modest extension of Andrew Feenberg’s work on technological malleability and its implications for re-constructing technological civilization. I attempt to show that the “alternative modernity” project could be advanced by making three empirical-methodological moves to help target the philosophical analysis.1 ...
Replies to Critics
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I want to thank my critics for the intelligence and sympathy with which they have discussed my work. They have helped me immeasurably to see the weak points and especially the lacunae in my argument. I will attempt here to respond to those parts of their discussion I am able to weave into a coherent chapter at this time.1 Many other ideas in these chapters will stay with me and...
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Page Count: 254
Publication Year: 2006