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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

(p.219) Twelve Technological Ethics in a Different Voice
Technology and the Good Life?

Diane P. Michelfelder

University of Chicago Press

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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