Technological Ethics in a Different Voice

Diane P. Michelfelder

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:
Technological Ethics in a Different Voice

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This chapter appreciates the way focal things may counterbalance devices. It finds that Borgmann's evaluation of the device paradigm does not always bear out for individual devices. Simply because a technological object can be classified as a device does not necessarily mean that it will have the negative effects on engagement and human relationships that Borgmann's theory predicts; some devices actually foster these values, illustrating the chapter's points with a study done on women's use of telephones. “The machinery that clouds the story of a device does not appear to prevent that device from playing a role in relationship building.” If so, devices under some conditions may be more promising than Borgmann thinks; Michelfelder finds that devices can themselves support focal practices if they are used in a context of narrative and tradition.

Keywords: technological ethics; device paradigm; human relationships; relationship building; focal practice; narrative and tradition

Chapter.  6877 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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