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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 13 October 2019

Technology and Temporal Ambiguity

Technology and Temporal Ambiguity

Chapter:
(p.256) Fourteen Technology and Temporal Ambiguity
Source:
Technology and the Good Life?
Author(s):

Mora Campbell

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226333885.003.0015

This chapter makes use of the idea of temporal ambiguity, the condition of discordant synchronous events in one's life. Imagining a world that could be otherwise would involve resolving the deeper problems that Borgmann shows with technology. The chapter finds attractive the notion that undesirable kinds of ambiguity can be eliminated through focal things and practices. But reform needs to go further to meet the additional concerns with social changes, addressing gender, cross-cultural differences, and a greater appreciation for the continuity between humans, other living beings, and the natural world. For instance, while Borgmann speaks well of traditional focal things and practices, the function of gender never complicates this picture. Moreover, from the standpoint of temporal ambiguity, focal things and practices are too limited since they are caught up within the private home, leisure time only, and the Gregorian calendar. “Unless focal practices serve to shift this overall pattern, they cannot, in temporal terms, significantly reorient the context of our lives.”

Keywords:   temporal ambiguity, technology, focal things, social change, gender, focal practices

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