What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design illustrated edition Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0271025407
ISBN-10: 0271025409
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Paperback, September 1, 2005
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Editorial Reviews


“In this insightful examination of the technological mediation in human action, he both poses new philosophical and societal questions, and offers a new way of bringing ethics into the practice of designing technical artifacts.”
—Katinka Waelbers, Science and Engineering Ethics

“Peter-Paul Verbeek is one of the up-and-coming philosophers of technology. He has been able to combine some of the best insights from both contemporary philosophy of technology and the newer strands of science studies. Looking at materiality, he extends the attentiveness to things that comes from these movements. His own original insights show forth in this book.”
—Don Ihde, SUNY–Stony Brook

“This is really a good book. The goal is to advance our philosophical and cultural understanding of technology with a focused interpretation of artifacts or material culture. . . . Verbeek demonstrates a solid appreciation of what has gone before him, fairly explicates and criticizes (his criticisms are always judicious and acknowledge others), and then creatively extends the movement toward a fuller appreciation of artifacts. If I were to give this book my own title, it would be ‘Artifacts Have Consequences’ (playing off the Richard Weaver book ‘Ideas Have Consequences’).”
—Carl Mitcham, Colorado School of Mines

About the Author

Peter-Paul Verbeek is a teacher and researcher in the philosophy of technology at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. His book was originally published in Dutch under the title De daadkracht derdingen: Over techniek, filosofie en vormgeving (2000).


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More About the Author

Peter-Paul Verbeek (1970) is professor of philosophy of technology and chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Twente. From July 2013 - July 2015 he is president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology. He is a member of the Dutch Council for the Humanities. Verbeek is an editor of Tijdschrift voor Filosofie and De Academische Boekengids, and a member of the editorial board of SATS. Journal for Northern Philosophy and of the scientific advisory board of Philosophy & Technology. Between April 2011 and April 2013 he was chairman of the 'Young Academy', which is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also held the Socrates chair in the philosophy of human enhancement at Delft University of Technology (2009-2012), and was guest professor at Aarhus University, Denmark (2006).

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What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design
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