What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design

Pennsylvania State University Press (2005)
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Abstract

This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek's What Things Do . The four things that Verbeek does well are: remind us of the importance of technological things; bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; explain how technology "co-shapes" experience by reading Bruno Latour's actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde's post-phenomenology; develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: analyze the material conditions in which things are produced; criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology

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Peter-Paul Verbeek
University of Twente

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