Axiomathes 30 (6):629-648 (2020)

Despite the many turns that philosophy of technology has undergone in recent decades, the question of the nature and limits of technological determinism has been neglected, because it was considered as solved and overcome, and therefore not worth further discussion. This paper once again raises the problem of TD, by trying to save the opposing, but complementary elements of truth of the two main forms of TD that I shall call “nomological” and “normative”: technology is all-pervasive and has an inexorable capacity for extending itself into every field of human life, and we have a capacity to counteract and orient technology, at least in some measure. In order to reconcile these seemingly inconsistent claims, the key move for my argument is a brief analysis of the notion of scientific experiment from the perspective of the distinction between the context of discovery and the context of justification. As a result, two senses of technology are distinguished, which I shall call respectively “reflective” and “methodological.” From the point of view of this distinction, the all-pervasiveness and inexorability of technology and the in principle irreducibility of human persons to technology—which nomological and normative TD assert dialectically one against the other—can be reconciled. Among other things, this requires the rejection of the widely held assumption, made both by nomological and normative TD, that technology is a cultural field whose contents can be neatly separated from the rest of human culture. This thesis should be replaced by the more qualified claim of the reflective unity and the methodological multiplicity of technology.
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DOI 10.1007/s10516-020-09516-5
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Knowledge and Social Imagery.David Bloor - 1976 - University of Chicago Press.
Knowledge and Social Imagery.David Bloor - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (2):195-199.

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