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Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry [Paperback]

by Albert Borgmann
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 15, 1987 0226066290 978-0226066295
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.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (March 15, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226066290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226066295
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really about technology 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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