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Technology and the Good Life?$
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Eric Higgs, Andrew Light, and David Strong Strong

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780226333861

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226333885.001.0001

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Technological Ethics in a Different Voice

Technological Ethics in a Different Voice

Chapter:
(p.219) Twelve Technological Ethics in a Different Voice
Source:
Technology and the Good Life?
Author(s):

Diane P. Michelfelder

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226333885.003.0013

This chapter appreciates the way focal things may counterbalance devices. It finds that Borgmann's evaluation of the device paradigm does not always bear out for individual devices. Simply because a technological object can be classified as a device does not necessarily mean that it will have the negative effects on engagement and human relationships that Borgmann's theory predicts; some devices actually foster these values, illustrating the chapter's points with a study done on women's use of telephones. “The machinery that clouds the story of a device does not appear to prevent that device from playing a role in relationship building.” If so, devices under some conditions may be more promising than Borgmann thinks; Michelfelder finds that devices can themselves support focal practices if they are used in a context of narrative and tradition.

Keywords:   technological ethics, device paradigm, human relationships, relationship building, focal practice, narrative and tradition

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