Mark Coeckelbergh: Money machines: electronic financial technologies, distancing, and responsibility in global finance: Ashgate Publishing Limited, Farnham, Surrey, 2015, 204 pp, ISBN-13: 9781472445087

Ethics and Information Technology 17 (3):231-235 (2015)
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This book review critically analyzes Mark Coecelbergh’s newest work: “Money Machines”. In his book, Coeckelbergh discusses the epistemic, social and moral distances that are created by modern financial technologies. It consists of a historical analysis of financial technologies from cowrie shells to digital money, a theoretical analysis of the distancing effects of financial technologies which revolves around the theories of Simmel and McLuhan and a discussion of the empirical instances of modern money machines within the framework of distancing. Two problems and one missed opportunity of the book are discussed in this review: the underdeveloped nature of the theory of distancing which leaves the reader with multiple open questions, the absence of established theories of money and the sometimes uncritical comparison of different theories applied to analyse financial technologies. Nevertheless, the book convincingly manages to open up a novel branch of research in the field philosophy and ethics of technology. Its highly original discussion of financial technologies and embracement of Simmel as a philosopher of technology provide for interesting prospects for future work.



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The Model of the Text: Meaningful Action Considered as a Text.Paul Ricoeur - 1984 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 51.

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