Peter-Paul Verbeek develops this innovative approach by first distinguishing it from the classical philosophy of technology formulated by Jaspers and Heidegger, who were concerned that technology would alienate us from ourselves and the world around us. Against this gloomy and overly abstract view, Verbeek draws on and extends the work of more recent philosophers of technology like Don Ihde, Bruno Latour, and Albert Borgmann to present a much more empirically rich and nuanced picture of how material artifacts shape our existence and experiences. In the final part of the book Verbeek shows how his “postphenomenological” approach applies to the technological practice of industrial designers.
Its systematic and historical review of the philosophy of technology makes What Things Do suitable for use as an introductory text, while its innovative approach will make it appealing to readers in many fields, including philosophy, sociology, engineering, and industrial design.
The editors’ introduction explains that as ‘agents’ rather than simply passive instruments, technical artefacts may actively influence their users, changing the way they perceive the world, the way they act in the world and the way they interact with each other.
This volume features the work of various experts from around the world, representing a variety of positions on the topic. Contributions explore the contested discourse on agency in humans and artefacts, defend the Value Neutrality Thesis by arguing that technological artefacts do not contain, have or exhibit values, or argue that moral agency involves both human and non-human elements.
The book also investigates technological fields that are subject to negative moral valuations due to the harmful effects of some of their products. It includes an analysis of some difficulties arising in Artificial Intelligence and an exploration of values in Chemistry and in Engineering. The Moral Status of Technical Artefacts is an advanced exploration of the various dimensions of the relations between technology and morality
User Behavior and Technology Development explores the relationships between technology and behavior from an interdisciplinary perspective. It includes contributions from cognitive psychology, industrial design, public administration, marketing, sociology, ergonomics, science and technology studies, and philosophy. The book aims to create a conceptual basis for analyzing interactions between technology and behavior, and to provide insights that are relevant to technology design and environmental policy.