This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Critical Theory Of Technology Essay

1089 words - 5 pages

While critical social theorists have included discussion of technology as part of their frameworks of analysis, historically, one must look to the philosophical tradition for exhaustive thought pertaining to technology. Feenberg, trained as an academic philosopher, seeks to bridge this divide between social theory and philosophy. In giving credence to both the philosophical perspectives of Heidegger and Husserl and the critical sociological approaches of Marcuse and others at the Frankfurt School, Feenberg offers a perspective on technology unparalleled within contemporary discourse. This blending of social theory and philosophy is very much in line with the tradition of German intellectual ...view middle of the document...

The advocates of technology see reason and rationalization as justification for technological developments; the critics see technology as an affront to humanity and nature. Contention between these groups lays the groundwork for arguments either “for” or “against” technology. Feenberg rejects this “for” and “against” dichotomy. While he certainly wouldn’t situate himself in favor of technology which suppresses the individual and destroys the environment, he rejects the argument of opposition which suggests that technologies—technologies which are without question the tool of domination for those in power, the elites—are inherently flawed and, thus, should be abandoned entirely. Not only does Feenberg see this latter argument—arguing for a “return to nature”—as utterly impractical given the depths to which said technologies have embedded themselves within modern society, but he takes issue with the notion that technology could be inherently imbued with any one value, bias, etc.
This critique of technological criticism speaks to a distinction that Feenberg sees between instrumental and substantive theories of technology. Feenberg outlines these contrasting views of technology, finding that neither adequately describes the role of technology within society. Ultimately, the critical theory of technology arises out of the contention between substantive and instrumentalist views of technology.
Instrumental theories of technology cast technologies as “mere neutral tools,” void entirely of value. Technology, in its purest form, is nothing more than a tool meant to aid man in various aspects of his life. As neutral objects and systems, technologies are applicable across social contexts (differing historical periods or levels of modernization) and, as such, pose little threat to the prevailing social order if introduced. Under the instrumentalist view, technology is seen as inherently rational and, any negative consequence as a result of its implementation is seen as either an unfortunate side effect of progress or the responsibility of some other aspect of society. Technology is never at fault; fault lies with the societies that choose to adopt said technology in less favorable ways. Given the neutrality of technology, Feenberg argues that instrumentalist view’s only “rational” position on technology is “unreserved commitment to its employment.”
In contrast to the instrumentalist view, substantive theories of technology argue that technology constitutes a cultural system that restructures the social and physical worlds as objects of control. In this view, technology is far from neutral and, in fact, dominates nature—in the overuse of resources, the destruction...

Find Another Essay On Critical Theory of Technology

What International Relations theory best explains humanitarian intervention. What is your critical view on the effectiveness of humanitarian inter

1257 words - 6 pages viable as those who favour the theory advocate in the enforcement of an international law that can combat the violation of human rights for instance. On the other hand, pluralist theorists feel the idea of intervention, humanitarian or not, is simply impermissible. Nevertheless, the liberal argument seems best to describe the concept of humanitarian intervention, arguing from the stance that it prevents or ends the abuse of human rights. In critical

Critical Examination of Malthusian Theory of Population

1292 words - 5 pages Thomas Robert Malthus, very popularly known as Malthus, was a professor of History and Political Economy at Haileybury College of the East Indian Company. He was a philosopher of 19th century. He lived his life from 1766 to 1834 AD. After writing an essay on the Principle of Population in 1805 AD, he became popular in the history of population studies. In his essay which later on became a very famous theory by the name "Malthusian Theory." In

An Interview with Bernard Lonergan What is "Critical Realism?" This essay delves into the theory of cognition posed by Lonergan, who was a Jesuit philosopher

4315 words - 17 pages PART I: Questions addressed to Lonergan1. Father Lonergan, you name your philosophy "Critical Realism."a) What is Critical Realism?Critical Realism is the philosophical position that states that the real is that which is known by the 3-fold process of attentive experience, intelligent inquiry, and responsible judgment. Reality is that which is known by totality of correct judgment.b) Thomas Aquinas is a Realist philosopher. Can you name one way

A critical Appraisal of Kohlberg's Theory Of Moral Development

1986 words - 8 pages Lawrence Kohlberg was born in Bronxville, New York on October 5th in 1927. He served as a professor at Harvard Univarsity. He started as a developmental psychologist in the early 1970s and became famous for his later work in moral education, especially his theory of moral developmentFor his doctoral research Kolhberg studied differences in children's reasoning about moral dilemmas. He hypothesized that moral difficulties motivated their

Critical Analysis of Pruitt and Kim’s Theory of Reconciliation

905 words - 4 pages development in modern day problem solving that Pruitt and Kim (2004) call “reconciliation” (p. 218). Simply put, this is the process of relationship repair. The importance of this theory cannot be understated. Reconciliation of divided people and societies is vital to preventing the reoccurrence of violence and building long-term, sustainable peace (Sustainable reconciliation, 2013). If people do not reconcile, conflicts will continue to arise time

Using the theory of consumer behavior, conduct critical analysis on the decision making process

3791 words - 15 pages Hawkins, Best, and Coney, the term of family decision making is the process by which decisions that directly or indirectly involve two or more family members are made (Hawkins, Best & Coney, 1998, p195). Generally, different motivations and different family life cycles will cause different decision making process. Meanwhile, with the dissimilar decision making process, the different members of family would play various roles and directly influence

EN333 Romanticism and Critical Theory Analyse one Romantic woman writer’s poem in light of Gilbert and Gubar’s ‘The Madwoman in the Attic’

776 words - 4 pages Women, as stated by Gilbert and Gubar in The Madwoman in the Attic, are often portrayed in literature as one of two binary opposites, ‘monstrous’ or ‘angelic’. Arguing throughout their theory that women are either represented as the ‘sweet dumb Snow White’ character or the ‘fierce mad Queen’2, Gilbert and Gubar expose how the female protagonist can never be understood as anything in between these two states. This dichotomy is clearly

Critical Theory- A Social Theory

1690 words - 7 pages “Critical Theory is a theory seeking emancipation and change in a dominant social order” (Baran & Davis, 2012). Critical theory is a social theory that deals with different aspects of society. It tends to critique cultures that include: media, advertising and consumer culture. Moreover, Critical theory is also used to study how education is dealt with using information technology and it also concentrates on social relationships that are social

Theoretical Framework

1182 words - 5 pages personality and gender were critical in determining whether an individual uses a new technology product in the workplace when choice was a factor and based on the amount of time that the product was used. In other words, the TAM theory was used in this instance to determine whether perceived ease of use was a factor in determining the use of a new technology product over time. In this case, “Job-related dependency on technology and gender directly

Educational Technology Theories and Theorists

1038 words - 4 pages educational technology there has been a dramatic shift in most of the paradigms on which traditional learning exists. The concept of incorporating technology with education is one that has gained widespread attention. Effective use of educational technology is critical to solving numerous educational challenges. Educational technology can help us meet the needs of a diverse learner population and better prepare our students for lifelong learning

The Importance of Technology to 21st Century Learners

1200 words - 5 pages continuous staff development (Gülbahar, 2007). Skilled teachers will empower students to utilize the tools of technology in productive and meaningful ways. Going beyond the low level usage of technology and allowing students to incorporate technology into problem solving will generate critical thinking and higher level learning. When teachers allow students to take an active role in their learning they tend to make more meaningful connections

Similar Essays

A Critical Review Of Kelly’s Personality Theory In Personality Development

2648 words - 11 pages . The aim is to reconstruct their personalities thoroughly. In fact, researches have found this technique to be effective in a wide range of setting (Beail and Parker, 1991; Viney, Metcalfe & Winter, 2005). 4. Critical Evaluation of Kelly’s Personality Theory To evaluate Kelly's theory systemically, I am going to categorize in accordance to five criteria of successful theory (Pervin & Cervone, 2013): Scientificity of Observation, Systematicness

Erikson’s Theory Of Psychosocial Development Applied To Teaching Technology

2267 words - 9 pages Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development Applied to Teaching Technology Erik Erikson believed that individual development takes place in a social context. He believed that development is a lifelong process. His theory contains eight stages of development that occur at different points in an individual’s life. At each stage, the individual has, what he coined as, a developmental crisis. Developmental crises are issues in the stage

The Impact Of Technology On The Critical Thinking Of Tertiary Students In School X

1199 words - 5 pages matriculated to this level. Although this is what is expected, over time behavioural patterns have shown that this is not the case. The argument is that, university students seem to be spending a great amount of time on their technological devices engaging in activities that does not stimulate critical thinking. According to Wolpert (2009), “technology plays an important role in our lives; however, skills such as critical thinking and analysis have been

Critical Approach To Man’s Use Of Modern Technology; Tess And The Honud Character's Analysis

1306 words - 5 pages Both Tess, of the D’Urbervilles, and The Hound, of the Baskervilles, take a critical approach to man’s use of modern technology is manners that impose on or damage the natural world. The theme is explored in several instances in Tess of the D’Urbervilles, with the first clear example being the death of the Durbeyville horse, Prince, by a modernized mail-cart. The new form of transportation sped along the road “like an arrow” and drove into the