Technology and the Objectivity of Values
Our task concerns the problems of learning to live with technology. Since the characterization of technology is itself an issue of some debate, let me begin with some preliminaries. I treat technology as humanity at work in the world. That is, technology is not a thing in itself; it is the techniques and methods, including machines, tools, social systems. etc., we use to make our way in the world. Given this perspective, let me now, for the purpose of focusing our efforts here, rephrase the objective of learning to live with technology in the following way: We are concerned with the problems created by the methods we use to manipulate and investigate the world. As such, the philosophical problems of technology are problems associated with the reasoning we use to develop and employ these methods and techniques and to assess the consequences, expected and otherwise, of their use. These problems range over a variety of issues. I will be concerned only with the nature and role of values in assessing technologies. And even then, my worries are narrow and restricted to the problem of structuring the debate over how best to assess technologies.
KeywordsEpistemic Context Metaphysical Principle Aesthetic Consideration Aesthetic Component Epistemic Level
My thanks to Richard Burian for his helpful suggestions on earlier drafts and a special note of appreciation to Ronald Druzina, despite my unwillingness to concede.
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