Abstract
The ideas of technological determinism and the autonomy of technology are long-standing and widespread. This article explores why the use of certain technologies is perceived to be obligatory, thus fueling the fatalism of technological determinism and undermining our sense of freedom vis-à-vis the use of technologies. Three main mechanisms that might explain “obligatory technologies” are explored. First, competition between individuals or groups drives the adoption of technologies that enhance or extend human capacities. Second, individuals and groups may become dependent on technologies. Third, technologies induce changes in social norms and values that may come to be enforced through various social mechanisms, including the law. The widespread ideology of the beneficence and inevitability of technological progress in our culture helps this process along.
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DOI 10.1177/0270467612459924
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References found in this work BETA

The Technological Society.Jacques Ellul (ed.) - 1964 - New York: Knopf.

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