Infrastructure, Urban Sprawl, and Naturally-Occurring Asbestos: An Ontological Thought Model for Wicked and Saving Technologies

Open Philosophy 3 (1):389-399 (2020)
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Recently, geologists in Southern Nevada discovered new deposits of naturally occurring asbestos and microscopic fibers in rocks and soil. The danger is that inhaling them can lead to mesothelioma. One problem is that this rare cancer often takes decades to manifest. This discovery abruptly stalled a highway project near Las Vegas. Due to this condition, management developed numerous protocols to keep workers safe. Using this case as a “thought model,” the author challenges an established way of categorizing kinds of technologies as they relate to the concept of being. In turn, this thought model reveals that climate change alters the conditions for being, as recognized in the literature. Advancing this conversation requires that we must reclassify some technologies and develop a categorization for those that reflect a different way of thinking as it concerns being.



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Shane Epting
Missouri University of Science and Technology

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References found in this work

We have never been modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Politics of nature: how to bring the sciences into democracy.Bruno Latour - 2004 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
What is metaphysics?Martin Heidegger - 1988 - In Martin Heidegger & Werner Brock (eds.), Existence and being. [U.S.]: Kampmann.
Heidegger and Stiegler on failure and technology.Ruth Irwin - 2020 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 52 (4):361-375.

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