Technology and Nostalgia

Gordon G. Brittan

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:
Technology and Nostalgia

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This chapter is concerned with Borgmann's critique of liberal democracy and his larger argument that technology fails to provide the kind of good life we expect from it. After evaluating these claims, this chapter argues that a good reason for limiting technology can be found instead by an appeal to the core concern of liberal democracy: freedom. While technology provides the basis for liberal democratic freedom, it can also threaten our autonomy by making us too dependent on devices. In the interest of freedom, we should reform technology so that we regain and retain a measure of essential self-sufficiency. Thus, to reform technology we could avoid entering into the endlessly controversial questions of the good life invited by Borgmann's critique and reform of technology. How can we evaluate what Borgmann calls the life of consumption or technology as a way of life? The chapter addresses the question of how successful Borgmann's tests are concerning the failure of technology to procure a good life.

Keywords: technology; liberal democracy; good life; freedom; devices; self-sufficiency

Chapter.  9036 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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