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Introduction to Philosophy of Technology


Mark Coeckelbergh

14 November 2020

ISBN: 9780190939809

336 pages

In Stock

Price: £39.99



  • Comprehensive, systematic, and up-to-date coverage of philosophy of technology
  • Includes case studies throughout
  • Engages with fields beyond the philosophy of technology, including ethics, philosophy of language, innovation, and policy (see Part 4)
  • Shows how technological developments stimulate philosophical thinking (see Part III)
  • Each chapter ends with review questions, discussion questions, recommended reading, and key terms

About the Author(s)

Mark Coeckelbergh

Mark Coeckelbergh is Professor of Media and Technology in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna and was also President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology. He is the author of twelve books and a member of the High Level Expert Group on AI of the European Commission.

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    , Case/Technology: Nuclear Technology and the Atomic Bomb
    1.1. Thinking about Technology?
    1.2. Approach, Structure of the Book, and Overview of Chapters
    2. History and Landscape
    , Case: Technology, Knowledge, and Memory
    2.1. Beginnings: Two Ancient Myths
    , In Focus: Bernard Stiegler
    2.2. A Brief History of the Discipline
    , Technology: The Time Machine
    2.3. Historical Context, Landscape of the Discipline, and Critical Questions
    , Technology: The Industrial Revolution
    , In Focus: Carl Mitcham
    3. Phenomenology and Hermeneutics: Heidegger, McLuhan, and Contemporary Work
    , Case/Technology: Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and the Question about Mastery
    3.1. Heidegger's Essay Concerning Technology: Beyond an Instrumental Understanding of Technology
    , In Focus: Martin Heidegger
    3.2. McLuhan's Understanding of Media
    , In Focus: Marshall McLuhan
    , In Focus: Maurice Merleau-Ponty
    , Case/Technology: The Internet
    3.3. Some Contemporary Work in Phenomenology and Hermeneutics of Technology
    , Case/Technology: Artificial Intelligence
    , In Focus: Hubert Dreyfus
    4. Postphenomenology, Material Hermeneutics, and Mediation Theory
    , Case/Technology: Driving a Car
    4.1. Introduction: The Empirical Turn
    4.2. Ihde's Postphenomenology and Material Hermeneutics
    , In Focus: Don Ihde
    , Case/Technology: Robot as Quasi-Other
    4.3. Contemporary Postphenomenology and Mediation Theory
    , In Focus: Peter-Paul Verbeek
    , Technology/Case: Medical Sonography/Ultrasound
    4.4. Critical Discussion
    5. Critical Theory and Feminism
    , Case: Digital Technologies in a Corporate and Capitalist Context
    5.1. Marx: Political Economy and Technology
    , In Focus: Karl Marx
    5.2. Marx 2.0.: Social media and Exploitation
    , Case/Technology: Social Media and Web 2.0
    5.3. Critical Theory about Technology Beyond Marx: From Marcuse and Foucault to Feenberg and Winner
    , In Focus: Michel Foucault
    , Case: Surveillance: The Panopticon and Airport Security
    , Case: Biased Algorithms and Algorithms Not in the Interest of Consumers: Job Selection, Criminal Justice, and Online Stores
    , In Focus: Andrew Feenberg
    , In Focus: Langdon Winner
    5.4. Feminist Thinking about Technology
    , Case: Design of Household Robots
    , In Focus: Donna Haraway
    5.5. Critical Discussion
    6. Pragmatism, Analytic Approaches, and Transcultural Philosophy
    , Case/Technology: Neonatal Care and Technology
    6.1. Pragmatism
    , In Focus: John Dewey
    6.2. Analytic Philosophy of Technology
    , Technology: Money and Contemporary Financial Technologies (Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain)
    , In Focus: John Searle's Social Ontology
    6.3. Intercultural and Transcultural Philosophy of Technology?
    , In Focus: Gilbert Simondon
    , Case/Technology: Digital Communication Technologies and The Good Life
    7. From Information Technologies to Philosophy and Ethics of Information
    , Technology: Digital and Virtual Worlds, The Matrix, and Beyond
    7.1. Introduction
    , In Focus: Norbert Wiener
    7.2. All about Information: Floridi's Philosophy and Ethics of Information
    , Case/Technology: Fake News and the Internet
    7.3. Critical Discussion
    7.4. Conclusions for Philosophy of Technology
    8. From Robotics and AI to Thinking about Moral Status and Human Relationships
    , Case: Self-Driving Cars
    8.1. Introduction
    8.2. Moral Machines? The Discussion about Moral Agency
    , Case: Biased Algorithms
    8.3. The Discussion about Moral Patiency
    8.4. Changing the Question: Toward More Relational Thinking
    , In Focus: Emmanuel Levinas
    8.5. The Debate about Sex Robots and Human Relationships: Feminist (or Egalitarian) Questions
    , Technology: Sex Robots
    8.6. Humans, Non-Humans, and the More-Than-Human
    9. From Genetic Engineering and Cyborgs to Transhumanism and Posthumanism
    , Case/Technology: Gene Editing
    9.1. Introduction
    9.2. Transhumanism and Human Enhancement
    9.3. Posthumanism and Cyborgs
    , In Focus: Haraway
    , In Focus: Stelarc
    , In Focus: Bruno Latour
    10. From Climate Change and Geoengineering to Questioning "Nature" and Thinking in and about the "Anthropocene"
    , Case/Technology: (Solar) Radiation Management as a Method of Geoengineering
    10.1. Introduction: Earth, We Have a Problem
    10.2. The Problem With "Nature": Modern Versus Non-Modern Approaches
    , Case/Technology: Central Heating Versus Wood-Burning Stove
    10.3. The Anthropocene: Some Philosophical Responses
    11. Philosophy of Technology and Other Philosophy: (Re)Connecting with Other Philosophical Subdisciplines
    , Case/Technology: Social Media (2) and Its Effects on our Lives
    11.1. Introduction
    11.2. Ethics and Moral Philosophy: Thinking about Virtue and Thinking about Technology
    11.3. Philosophical Anthropology: Thinking about the Human and Thinking about Technology
    , Technology: Cochlear Implants
    11.4. Philosophy of Language: Thinking about Language and Thinking about Technology
    , In Focus: John Searle
    , Ludwig Wittgenstein
    11.5. Other Subfields: Some Examples
    11.6. Conclusions for Philosophers of Technology
    12. Philosophy of Technology and Other Academic Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity
    , Case/Technology: Robotics and Interdisciplinarity
    12.1. Introduction
    12.2. Some Examples of Transdisciplinary Work for Philosophers of Technology
    , In Focus: Deborah Johnson
    , Technology: Humanoid Robots
    , In Focus: Wiebe Bijker
    12.3. Challenges for Transdisciplinary Work
    13. Philosophy of Technology and Other Practices Beyond Academia
    , Case/Technology: "Killer Drones" and Activism
    13.1. Beyond Academia: Innovation, Policy, and Art
    , In Focus: Jeroen Van Den Hoven
    , In Focus: Robert Frodeman
    , Technology: Smartphones, Tablets, and Other Smart Devices
    13.2. Some Directions and Recommendations Concerning the Future of Research in Philosophy of Technology and Its Potential Implications for Education


"Introduction to Philosophy of Technology is a model of philosophical clarity. Many will be thrilled to have a textbook written by such an eminent scholar in the field as Professor Coeckelbergh." - Shannon Vallor, Santa Clara University

"This text is logical, cohesive, and clearly communicated. It is the first and only textbook in the philosophy of technology that is designed for and that can scale to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century." - David Gunkel, Northern Illinois University

"I would rate the overall quality of this book as excellent. One can imagine students getting excited about the philosophy of technology, and philosophy in general, from reading Coeckelbergh's work. He writes in a student-friendly manner, with clear and accessible prose." - Diane Michelfelder, Macalester College