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

ISBN-13: 978-0271025407
ISBN-10: 0271025409
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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. As Verbeek correctly argues, previous modern philosophies of technology (Jaspers and Heidegger) have inadequately appreciated artifacts as artifacts. More contemporary philosophers of technology (Ihde, Latour, and Borgmann) have taken steps toward more adequate appreciations and understanding of artifacts, but their work calls for development and especially application to the real world of design. 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



“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



“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 come 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



“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

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).

Robert P. Crease is Associate Professor of Philosophy at SUNY–Stony Brook.

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