From the Question concerning technology to the Quest for a democratic technology: Heidegger, Marcuse, Feenberg

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):203 – 215 (2000)
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Abstract

Andrew Feenberg?s most recent contribution to the critical theory of technology, Questioning Technology , is best understood as a synthesis and extension of the critiques of technology developed by Heidegger and Marcuse. By thus situating Feenberg?s endeavor to articulate and preserve a meaningful sense of agency in our increasingly technologized lifeworld, I show that some of the deepest tensions in Heidegger and Marcuse?s relation re-emerge within Feenberg?s own critical theory. Most significant here is the fact that Feenberg, following Marcuse, exaggerates Heidegger?s ?fatalism? about technology. I contend that this mistake stems from Feenberg?s false ascription of a technological ?essentialismfito Heidegger. Correcting this and several related problems, I reconstruct Feenberg?s ?radical democraticEfficacyll for a counter-hegemonic democratization of technological design, arguing that although this timely and important project takes its inspiration from Marcuse, in the end Feenberg remains closer to Heidegger than his Marcuseanism allows him to acknowledge.

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Iain Thomson
University of New Mexico

References found in this work

Some social implications of modern technology.Herbert Marcuse - 1941 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 9 (3):414-439.
Traditional Language and Technological Language.Martin Heidegger & Wanda Torres Gregory - 1998 - Journal of Philosophical Research 23:129-145.
Some Social Implications of Modern Technology.Herbert Marcuse - 1941 - Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung 9 (3):414-439.
Traditional Language and Technological Language.Martin Heidegger & Wanda Torres Gregory - 1998 - Journal of Philosophical Research 23:129-145.

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