Let’s Make Things Better: A Reply to My Readers [Book Review]

Human Studies 32 (2):251 - 261 (2009)
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Abstract

This article is a reply to the three reviews of my book What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design (Verbeek 2005 ) in this symposium. It discusses the remarks made by the reviewers along five lines. The first is methodological and concerns the question of how to develop a philosophical approach to technology. The second line discusses the philosophical orientation of the book, and the relations between analytic and continental approaches. Third, I will discuss the metaphysical aspects of the book, in particular the nature and value of the non-modernist approach it aims to set out. Fourth, I will discuss the social and political relevance of the book. Fifth, this will bring me to some concluding remarks about how the postphenomenological perspective developed in the book relates to liberalism, focusing on its suggestions to deliberately design our material environment in terms of mediation.

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Peter-Paul Verbeek
University of Twente