By Langdon Winner (auth.), Langdon Winner (eds.)
This 9th quantity is without doubt one of the such a lot arnbitious within the Philosophy and know-how sequence. Edited via technopolitical thinker Langdon Winner, it assembles a powerful selection of philosophers and political theorists to debate the most very important subject matters of the top of the 20 th century - the bearing of expertise, in all its rarnifica tions, at the perform of democratic politics within the constructed international. while set beside the former quantity within the sequence - Europe, the US, and Teehnology - the 2 jointly open a philosophical discussion of significant importance in regards to the methods know-how demanding situations democracy at its very roots. a few philosophers imagine the assault is deadly. Others are confident that democratic capacity could be stumbled on, or invented, for the keep watch over of know-how. nonetheless others item to an optimism-versus-pes simism formula of the problem. yet alI agree that the problem is very major, person who calls for critical philosophical inquiry. The Society for Philosophy and know-how was once lucky in with the ability to draw this crew of writers to Bordeaux, France, in 1989, in addition to plenty of others whose contributions to the talk couldn't be integrated right here. it truly is both lucky to have selected Langdon Winner as president whilst the time carne to pick the easiest of the papers to type this quantity. collage of Delaware PAUL T.
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Additional info for Democracy in a Technological Society
It is this latter, political power utilizing the technology, that is of concern here in the analysis of power-not technological power (which deserves its own analysis, but not here), then, but rather power in the use and control of technology. Here, some elementary considerations to start with. , to know how to use it, and how to cease using it. Thus, in the case of typical third-revolution high technology, control requires scientific and technical knowledge and skill adequate to the sophistication of the technology.
But the major difference between our periods and those preced ing ours is the fact that, in those periods, man did not have the power to destroy society or nature, a power to specifically dominate or exploit those orders. With technique the situation is completely different: power has become technical and technique exercises a pervasive form of power. Hence, to achieve democracy would require abandoning the technical system in its totality. But is this possible? Given the enormous risks, both actual and potential (of which we now know a small part and which will reveal themselves as we go along) , a new mode of democratic organization must seek to limit risks and dangers.
The hand lathe in the local machine shop is cousin to the automated multi-tool turret lathe in a computerized production system, and both are in operation. There were capitalists and proletarians in ancient Rome, but it was not thereby a capitalist economy. What concerns us is the dominant mode of technology, that which does not simply displace alI the others, but which, comparatively speaking, trivializes them, makes them marginal or vestigial, in practical social-economic and technical terms.
Democracy in a Technological Society by Langdon Winner (auth.), Langdon Winner (eds.)