Foundations of Science

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 301–304 | Cite as

The Struggle for Technology: Towards a Realistic Political Theory of Technology

  • Peter-Paul VerbeekEmail author


Pieter Lemmens’ neo-Marxist approach to technology urges us to rethink how to do political philosophy of technology. First, Lemmens’ high level of abstraction raises the question of how empirically informed a political theory of technology needs to be. Second, his dialectical focus on a “struggle” between humans and technologies reveals the limits of neo-Marxism. Political philosophy of technology needs to return “to the things themselves”. The political significance of technologies cannot be reduced to its origins in systems of production or social organization, but requires study at the micro-level, where technologies help to shape engagement, interaction, power, and social awareness.


Neo-Marxism Political philosophy of technology Postphenomenology Empirical philosophy 


  1. Achterhuis, H. (Ed.). (2001). American philosophy of technology: The empirical turn. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Morozov, E. (2011). The net delusion: The dark side of internet freedom. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2015

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeNetherlands

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