On Character and Technology

Carl Mitcham

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:
On Character and Technology

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This chapter considers the meaning of character, historically and within Borgmann's work, in order to elucidate Borgmann's theory of technology and a profound problem at the heart of the reform of technology. It finds that the reform of technology will take nothing short of a transformation of our character, and that character in turn already has been formed in a distinct way by the character of technology itself. Such a transformation of this preexisting character then poses an enormous task. In the absence of a religious teleology, Borgmann relies on the historical promise of technology and the power of poetry for character criticism and reform. However, the chapter questions the effectiveness of art and reflection alone to transform personal and societal character in this radical way.

Keywords: character; technology; theory of technology; reform of technology; character criticism; art

Chapter.  10045 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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