Chapter

Borgmann's Philosophy of Technology

David Strong and Eric Higgs

in Technology and the Good Life?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780226333861
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226333885 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226333885.003.0002
Borgmann's Philosophy of Technology

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The twofold task of philosophy is to engage philosophy with issues that matter and to involve the public in a philosophical conversation about these matters. For Borgmann, the task of philosophy is to engage “the things that matter’ quite literally. The distinction between “focal things” and “devices” has proven to be valuable to philosophers and laypeople alike: Borgmann's account of the difference between things and devices is easy to grasp intuitively. Moreover, it helps people to become aware of the otherwise invisible water we are immersed in, Borgmann believes, by making them conscious of the significance of technological change as it impinges on important centers of their lives. In his view, it helps people to identify and guard these centers against corrosive forms of technology. To see these latter advantages, one needs to understand the distinction itself first. Thus this chapter describes the public character of Borgmann's philosophy of technology and presents an overview of the device paradigm.

Keywords: Albert Borgmann; philosophy of technology; things and devices; forms of technology; philosophical conversation; technological change

Chapter.  8429 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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