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Philosophy of Technology

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0820317618
ISBN-10: 0820317616
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Editorial Reviews


This is a wonderful introduction to the philosophy of technology—and indeed, to the understanding of philosophy itself, as well as to the study of the meaning, purpose, and results of technological changes. Ferré demonstrates that philosophy/technology relationships are constantly changing—and he makes this into a lively field which will continue to stimulate thought.

(Melvin Kranzberg Georgia Institute of Technology)

An able introduction for beginning students who exemplify in the context of their own lives . . . the need for the philosophy of technology. . . . Ferré raises more questions than gives answers, gently but unmistakably prompting both teacher and student to expand the horizon in inquiry into the questions concerning technology.

(Contemporary Philosophy)

This book provides reflective background for the informed development of a philosophy of technology education. This in turn can help us move from the technological transformation of education toward the educational transformation of technology.

(Journal of Educational Technology)

From the Back Cover

In this widely taught introductory survey, Frederick Ferre explains the fundamental concerns and methods of philosophy and then guides readers through a philosophical inquiry into some of the major issues surrounding technology's impact on our lives.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820317616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820317618
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Frederick Ferré defines philosophy as epistemology, axiology and metaphysics. Epistemology defines our knowledge, axiology our values, and metaphysics our reality. Philosophy is `critical wondering'. This is a refreshing definition since much current philosophy of science excludes values, and is too tightly addressed to epistemology and methodology to allow wider `critical wondering'. This is why Anglo-American analytical philosophy has made little contribution to the philosophy of technology.

Ferré then defines technology as `practical implementations of intelligence'. He identifies `practical intelligence' as the `Reason of Ulysses' and `theoretical intelligence' as the `Reason of Plato' and points out that these have only recently converged as scientific theory has driven technology, taking technology beyond the pragmatic happenstance. Ferré's distinction can equally be conceptualised by an epistemic distinction between `knowing that' and `knowing how'.

In a brief review of the history of interpretation of technology, Marx and Buckminster Fuller have positive expectations, whilst Heidegger and Marcuse critiques are negative. The ethical dilemmas of technology are exemplified in discussion of automated manufacturing, computerisation, nuclear technology and genetic engineering, though ethical methodologies and conclusions are indeterminate.

Ferré then presents chapters on religion and metaphysics. He correctly points out that the standard Judeo-Christian model, thought to legitimise human dominion over the world, is inadequate. Compared to pantheistic religion, it separated humanity and nature, and allowed exploitation rather than conservation.
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Format: Paperback
Ferre provides a good introduction to philosophy of technology which is suitable for "non-philosophers". The book starts with gentle description of the main issues in philosophy and go through the various aspects of this area. It is also short and seem to be readable. It also contains an annotated bibiliography, though the age of the book (originally written in 1986) is quite clear.
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