Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Technology and the Good Life?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 22 October 2019

Focaltechnics, Pragmatechnics, and the Reform of Technology

Focaltechnics, Pragmatechnics, and the Reform of Technology

Chapter:
(p.89) Five Focaltechnics, Pragmatechnics, and the Reform of Technology
Source:
Technology and the Good Life?
Author(s):

Larry Hickman

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226333885.003.0006

This chapter addresses two related questions: How can we evaluate appropriate and inappropriate technology? And how can we evaluate focal things and practices, for surely many of them are troubling? The chapter, inspired by John Dewey's work, has developed a pragmatic philosophy of technology—pragmatechnics. The chapter contrasts pragmatechnics with focaltechnics, a characterization of Borgmann's vision of appropriate technology. Borgmann presents a rigid essentialism, splitting technology into “two ledger columns” of bad and good. The device paradigm is bad; devices as supportive of focal things are good. The chapter argues for a “flexible functionalism” that would counter what is perceived here as a tendency by Borgmann to reduce a device to an essential property. This chapter's claim is that pragmatechnics are more flexible and better for understanding the complexities of contemporary technological life.

Keywords:   pragmatechnics, focaltechnics, Borgmann, technology, device paradigm, flexible functionalism

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.