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Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry.pdf | Language: English

Blending social analysis and philosophy, Albert Borgmann maintains that technology creates a controlling pattern in our lives. This pattern, discernible even in such an inconspicuous action as switching on a stereo, has global effects: it sharply divides life into labor and leisure, it sustains the industrial democracies, and it fosters the view that the earth itself is a technological device. He argues that technology has served us as well in conquering hunger and disease, but that when we turn to it for richer experiences, it leads instead to a life dominated by effortless and thoughtless consumption. Borgmann does not reject technology but calls for public conversation about the nature of the good life. He counsels us to make room in a technological age for matters of ultimate concern—things and practices that engage us in their own right.

Albert Borgmann is Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of Montana. He is the author of Crossing the Postmodern Divide, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Book details

  • PDF | 310 pages
  • The University of Chicago Press (March 15, 1987)
  • English
  • 3
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Review Text

  • By Phillip Schoenberg on May 14, 2014

    This is a really important book by Borgmann. It's a game-changer for anyone interested in philosophy of technology, and I highly recommend it!

  • By Wayne Iba on September 14, 2010

    If you are interested in the philosophy of technology, skip this book and keep looking. Borgmann defines technology as developments since the industrial revolution. Many of his claims may stand within this narrow definition of technology but lose their force when considering technology in a broader sense.Rather than a critique of technology, the book actually critiques consumerism. In this, the book is thought-provoking and worth reading. Although Borgmann assumes (incorrectly, I believe) a linkage between technology and consumerism, the linkage is not necessary to the critique of consumerism. Unfortunately, like most social critics, Borgmann does not present tangible suggestions for changing course.


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