Thinking About Technology: Foundations of the Philosophy of Technology

Pitt, Joseph C.

It almost goes without saying that technology is a pervasive feature of contemporary culture. In this book I will be arguing, among other things, that technology is more than that; it is a defining feature of theĀ· human condition. It is, therefore, the job of philosophy, the forn1 of inquiry best suited to focusing our thinking about the "big" questions, to make sense of technology and to help us understand its workings as well as its impacts on our lives and values. Unfortunately, the kind of attention that contemporary philosophers usually give to matters of technology consists primarily of social criticism. Briefly, I argue that ideological critiques contribute little to rational consideration of the merits or demerits of a technology. I am most concerned to argue that we need to assess our epistemological assumptions (about, for example, the reliability of forecasting techniques used to predict the consequences of specific technological innovations or changes) before we go on to use various claims generated in the context of those assumptions as the basis for a critical assessment of the merits of the technology in question.

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