By Friedrich Rapp (auth.)
Friedrich Rapp, during this magisterial and significant essay on expertise, the advanced human phenomenon that calls for philosophy of technology, philosophy of tradition, ethical perception, and ancient sensi tivity for its knowing, writes modestly of the grave and ten tative scenario within the philosophy of expertise. regardless of the professional came upon thinkers who've dedicated time and mind's eye and ratio nal penetration, regardless of the big literature now on hand, the numerous and comparative viewpoints of political, analytic, regardless of metaphysical, cultural, even esthetic commitments, certainly regardless of the sincere becoming a member of of old and systematic equipment of inves tigation, we're faraway from a passable knowing of the thrill and sorrows, the achievements and disappointments, of the tech nological saga of human societies. Professor Rapp has ready this document at the philosophical realizing of expertise for a afflicted global; if ever philosophy have been wanted, it's within the prac tical try and locate choices between applied sciences, to foresee risks and possibilities, to settle on with a feeling of the possibil ity of pleasurable humane values. Emerson observed the student now not as a consultant aside, yet as 'Man considering' and Rapp's essay so speaks to we all, business international or 3rd global, engineers or humanists, drained or vigorous, apprehensive or optimistic.
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Extra resources for Analytical Philosophy of Technology
In the narrow sense, we understand 'technology' as 'technique' - a certain procedure. This refers in the simplest case to a learnable skill, such as the technique of driving a car, playing the piano, or skating. Complex processes which are the result of collective action, however, are also rule-governed and goal-oriented and thus dependent on a certain technique. Here, we tend to speak of the technology of mass advertising, the technology of energy production, or the technology of automobile manufacturing.
The complexity of particular technological systems, the manner of their production, and the actual consequences of technological activity are so different in different times as to incline one to speak of "family resemblances" (Wittgenstein) among different phenomena rather than instances of one phenomenon. Such a view, which particularly emphasizes the uniqueness of each technological process, however, does justice to only one side of the phenomenon. As with other fields as well, the individual historical stages of technology are parts of a temporal continuum.
It is evident from appearances too that the complicated apparatuses and systems of modem technology represent by no means direct solutions to problems. They reflect instead intentionally taken detours through theory fonnation and methodological reflection. In what follows, three different models of the development of 37 38 CHAPTER III technology are examined. Each model will emphasize different factors, driving forces, or determinants of technological development. The trick is to focus only on the variables of interest in each case, keeping all other variables relevant to the subject matter outside one's attention, or considered with a ceteris paribus reservation, constant and therefore negligible.