By Andrew Feenberg
The applied sciences, markets, and administrations of trendy wisdom society are in difficulty. we are facing ordinary failures in each area: weather switch, power shortages, monetary meltdown. The process is damaged, regardless of every thing the technocrats declare to grasp approximately technological know-how, expertise, and economics. those difficulties are exacerbated by way of the truth that at the present time robust applied sciences have unexpected results that disrupt daily life; the hot masters of know-how aren't restricted through the classes of expertise, and speed up switch to the purpose the place society is in consistent turmoil. In among cause and adventure, prime thinker of know-how Andrew Feenberg makes a case for the interdependence of reason--scientific wisdom, technical rationality--and adventure. Feenberg examines diverse features of the tangled courting among expertise and society from the viewpoint of severe conception of expertise, an technique he has pioneered during the last two decades. Feenberg issues to 2 examples of democratic interventions into expertise: the web (in which person initiative has prompted layout) and the environmental stream (in which technology coordinates with protest and policy). He examines methodological purposes of serious thought of expertise to the case of the French Minitel computing community and to the courting among nationwide tradition and know-how in Japan. eventually, Feenberg considers the philosophies of expertise of Heidegger, Habermas, Latour, and Marcuse. The slow extension of democracy into the technical sphere, Feenberg argues, is without doubt one of the nice political alterations of our time.
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Extra resources for Between reason and experience : essays in technology and modernity
Finally, closure is achieved in the consolidation of a standard design capable of prevailing for an extended period. This is what happened to the bicycle, the automobile, and most of the familiar technologies that surround us. In the case of the bicycle, the “safety” design won out, and it beneﬁted from all the later advances. In retrospect, it seems as though the high Democratic Rationalization 11 wheelers were a clumsy and less efﬁcient stage in a progressive development leading through the old “safety” bicycle to current designs.
They are not ontologically distinct with meaning in the observer’s mind and rationality in the technology proper. 8 Functional rationality isolates objects from their original context in order to incorporate them into a theoretical system. The institutions that support this procedure, such as laboratories and research and design centers, themselves form a special context with their own practices and links to various social agencies and powers. The notion of “pure” rationality arises when the work of decontextualization is not itself grasped as a social activity reﬂecting social interests.
Yet the demand for communication that these movements represent is so fundamental that it can serve as a touchstone for the adequacy of political theories of the technological age. These resistances, like the environmental movement, challenge the horizon of rationality under which technology is currently designed. Rationalization in our society responds to a particular deﬁnition of technology as a means to proﬁt and power. A broader understanding of technology suggests a very different notion of rationalization based on responsibility for the human and natural contexts of technical action.