technology and the character of contemporary life a philosophical inquiry

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Technology And The Character Of Contemporary Life

Author : Albert Borgmann
ISBN : 9780226163581
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 46. 29 MB
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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.

Technology And The Character Of Contemporary Life

Author : Philippe Valentin Giffard
ISBN : 6137847055
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 45. 32 MB
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Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry is a 1984 book by Albert Borgmann (born 1937), an American philosopher, specializing in the philosophy of technology. Borgmann was born in Freiburg, Germany, and is a professor of philosophy at the University of Montana. Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life contributed to the emerging philosophical discussions of issues surrounding modern technology. Following a Heideggerian viewpoint, Borgmann introduced the notion of the device paradigm to explain what constitutes technology's essence, loosely based on Heidegger's notion of Gestell (enframing).

The Ethics Of Nature

Author : Celia Deane-Drummond
ISBN : 9780470775240
Genre : Religion
File Size : 60. 23 MB
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This accessible and timely book uses a Christian perspective to explore ethical debates about nature. A detailed exploration of humanity’s treatment of the natural world from a Christian perspective. Covers a range of ethical debates, including current controversies about the environment, animal rights, biotechnology, consciousness, and cloning. Sets the immediate issues in the context of underlying theological and philosophical assumptions. Complex scientific issues are explained in clear student-friendly language. The author develops her own distinctive ethical approach centred on the practice of wisdom. Discusses key figures in the field, including Peter Singer, Aldo Leopold, Tom Regan, Andrew Linzey, James Lovelock, Anne Primavesi, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Michael Northcott. The author has held academic posts in both theology and plant science.

Christian Moral Theology In The Emerging Technoculture

Author : Brent Waters
ISBN : 9781317166719
Genre : Religion
File Size : 47. 30 MB
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We are living in an emerging technoculture. Machines and gadgets not only weave the fabric of daily life, but more importantly embody philosophical and religious values which shape the contemporary moral vision-a vision that is often at odds with Christian convictions. This book critically examines those values, and offers a framework for how Christian moral theology should be formed and lived-out within the emerging technoculture. Brent Waters argues that technology represents the principal cultural background against which contemporary Christian moral life is formed. Addressing contemporary ethical and religious issues, this book will be of particular interest to students and scholars exploring the ideas of Heidegger, Nietzsche, Grant, Arendt, and Borgmann.

Social Responsibility In Science Technology And Medicine

Author : Paul T. Durbin
ISBN : 0934223270
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 67. 70 MB
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In this book, Paul T. Durbin presents a scholarly plea for social responsibility on the part of technical professionals. Examples chosen include biomedical researchers, computer professionals, nuclear experts, and ecologists, as well as medical educators, technology literacy educators, and media professionals. Even academic philosophers are urged to shoulder social responsibilities. While the language of social responsibility is not totally lacking in contemporary discussions of the ethical obligations of technical professionals, it is given a new urgency here. The background of the discussion is an increasing number of calls, by leaders of professional societies, urging their members to shoulder greater social responsibilities associated with contemporary social ills. What these calls seem most often to lack is a sense of urgency, a demand for activism on the part of technical professionals. The book aims to attack this failing head-on. A second part of the book attempts to answer philosophical objections to this sort of plea as a way of dealing with urgent contemporary issues. One sort of objection comes from radical critics saying that nothing can be done. But there are many other kinds of objections, and several of them are faced in this part of the book. The thesis defended in the study is straightforward and optimistic - namely, that something can be done to solve social problems, in spite of the difficulties. Where radical critics say nothing can be done, conservatives say that nothing ought to be done - at least nothing that smacks of social engineering. While these extreme views are addressed, the main focus is on mainstream activists in the technical professions. A secondary focus is on how more technical professionals can get involved so that the whole movement can be more effective in solving the problems discussed. Not everyone agrees that professionals - including academic philosophers - need to be actively engaged in this fashion. So another theme throughout is an argument against non-engaged philosophers, non-engaged scientists, and other non-engaged professionals. The social problems of a technological society are manifest. The book attempts to show, in a scholarly way, how they might be addressed effectively.

Beyond Cutting Edge

Author : Paul C. Heidebrecht
ISBN : 9781630873387
Genre : Religion
File Size : 73. 7 MB
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A quick scan of any newsstand is enough to confirm the widespread preoccupation with technological change. As a myriad of articles and advertisements demonstrate, not only are we preoccupied with technology, but we are bombarded with numerous reminders that the cutting edge is in constant motion. Most often the underlying assumption of Christians is that we have no choice but to find ways to cope with the latest and greatest. Indeed, it is often assumed that the church has no choice but to find ways to cope with its new technological context. This book does not make the same assumptions. Building on the work of Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, it argues that the practices of the church make it possible for Christians to conscientiously engage technology. This happens when we recognize that marks of the church such as patience, vulnerability, and servanthood can put technological ideals such as speed, control, and efficiency in their proper place. In the course of grappling with three examples of morally formative technologies--automobiles, genetically modified food, and the Internet--this book goes beyond Yoder's thought by emphasizing that the church also plays a crucial role in our moral formation.

Readings In The Philosophy Of Technology

Author : David M. Kaplan
ISBN : 9780742565364
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 86. 74 MB
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Ideal for professors who want to provide a comprehensive set of the most important readings in the philosophy of technology, from foundational to the cutting edge, this book introduces students to the various ways in which societies, technologies, and environments shape one another. The readings examine the nature of technology as well as the effects of technologies upon human knowledge, activities, societies, and environments. Students will learn to appreciate the ways that philosophy informs our understanding of technology, and to see how technology relates to ethics, politics, nature, human nature, computers, science, food, and animals.

New Perspectives In Philosophy Of Education

Author : David Lewin
ISBN : 9781472513366
Genre : Education
File Size : 20. 9 MB
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New Perspectives in Philosophy of Education seeks to build a bridge between philosophical reflection and socio-political action by developing a range of critical discussions in the areas of ethics, politics and religion. This volume brings together established authorities and a new generation of scholars to ask whether philosophy of education can contribute to political and social discourse, or whether it is destined to remain the marginal gadfly of mainstream ideology. The philosophy of education stands in danger of becoming a neglected field at precisely the moment we need to be able to reflect upon the increasingly apparent costs of the technocratic attitude to education. While many of the educational policy discussions of recent years seem far-reaching and radical, critical debate surrounding these initiatives remain largely at a populist level. New Perspectives in Philosophy of Education provides contemporary responses to philosophical issues that bear upon educational studies, policies and practices, contributing to the debate on the role of philosophy of education in an increasingly fractured intellectual milieu.

Shaping Our Selves

Author : Erik Parens
ISBN : 9780190211776
Genre : Medical
File Size : 47. 86 MB
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When bioethicists debate the use of technologies like surgery and pharmacology to shape our selves, they are, ultimately, debating what it means for human beings to flourish. They are debating what makes animals like us truly happy, and whether the technologies at issue will bring us closer to or farther from such happiness. The positions that participants adopt in debates regarding such ancient and fundamental questions are often polarized, and cannot help but be deeply personal. It is no wonder that the debates are sometimes acrimonious. How, then, should critics of and enthusiasts about technological self-transformation move forward? Based on his experience at the oldest free-standing bioethics research institute in the world, Erik Parens proposes a habit of thinking, which he calls "binocular." As our brains integrate slightly different information from our two eyes to achieve depth of visual perception, we need to try to integrate greatly different insights on the two sides of the debates about technologically shaping our selves-if depth of intellectual understanding is what we are after. Binocular thinking lets us benefit from the insights that are visible from the stance of the enthusiast, who emphasizes that using technology to creatively transform our selves will make us happier, and to benefit from the insights that are visible from the stance of the critic, who emphasizes that learning to let our selves be will make us happier. Parens observes that in debates as personal as these, we all-critics and enthusiasts alike-give reasons that we are partial to. In the throes of our passion to make our case, we exaggerate our insights and all-too-often fall into the conceptual traps that language sets for us. Foolishly, we make conceptual choices that no one who truly wanted understanding would accept: Are technologies value-free or value-laden? Are human beings by nature creators or creatures? Is disability a medical or a social phenomenon? Indeed, are we free or determined? Parens explains how participating in these debates for two decades helped him articulate the binocular habit of thinking that is better at benefiting from the insights in both poles of those binaries than was the habit of thinking he originally brought to the debates. Finally, Parens celebrates that bioethics doesn't aspire only to deeper thinking, but also to better acting. He embraces not only the intellectual aspiration to think deeply about meaning questions that don't admit of final answers, but also the ethical demand to give clear answers to practical questions. To show how to respect both that aspiration and that demand, the book culminates in the description of a process of truly informed consent, in the context of one specific form of using technology to shape our selves: families making decisions about appearance normalizing surgeries for children with atypical bodies.


Author : Gyorgy Scrinis
ISBN : 9780231527149
Genre : Cooking
File Size : 59. 58 MB
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Popularized by Michael Pollan in his best-selling In Defense of Food, Gyorgy Scrinis's concept of nutritionism refers to the reductive understanding of nutrients as the key indicators of healthy food—an approach that has dominated nutrition science, dietary advice, and food marketing. Scrinis argues this ideology has narrowed and in some cases distorted our appreciation of food quality, such that even highly processed foods may be perceived as healthful depending on their content of "good" or "bad" nutrients. Investigating the butter versus margarine debate, the battle between low-fat, low-carb, and other weight-loss diets, and the food industry's strategic promotion of nutritionally enhanced foods, Scrinis reveals the scientific, social, and economic factors driving our modern fascination with nutrition. Scrinis develops an original framework and terminology for analyzing the characteristics and consequences of nutritionism since the late nineteenth century. He begins with the era of quantification, in which the idea of protective nutrients, caloric reductionism, and vitamins' curative effects took shape. He follows with the era of good and bad nutritionism, which set nutricentric dietary guidelines and defined the parameters of unhealthy nutrients; and concludes with our current era of functional nutritionism, in which the focus has shifted to targeted nutrients, superfoods, and optimal diets. Scrinis's research underscores the critical role of nutrition science and dietary advice in shaping our relationship to food and our bodies and in heightening our nutritional anxieties. He ultimately shows how nutritionism has aligned the demands and perceived needs of consumers with the commercial interests of food manufacturers and corporations. Scrinis also offers an alternative paradigm for assessing the healthfulness of foods—the food quality paradigm—that privileges food production and processing quality, cultural-traditional knowledge, and sensual-practical experience, and promotes less reductive forms of nutrition research and dietary advice.

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