Instroduction: Technology and human finitude -- Method: Marx after Foucault -- Critical constructivism -- Concretizing Simondon and constructivism -- Application: The internet in question -- Theory: Reason and experience in the age of the technosystem -- The concept of function in critical constructivism -- The logic of protest -- Conclusion: The question of progress
We live in a world of technical systems, designed in accordance with technical disciplines and operated by a personnel trained in those disciplines. This is a unique form of social organization without historical precedent. It overshadows traditional democratic institutions and largely determines our way of life. Technosystem: The Social Life of Reason reconstructs the idea of democracy for this brave new world. The author draws on the tradition of radical social criticism represented by Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School as well as contemporary Science and Technology Studies (STS). The social critics recognized the role of instrumental rationality in modern societies, but they did not analyze any actual technologies in detail, nor did they develop a convincing theory of democratic resistance to the new forms of domination by rational systems. STS has developed methods of analysis for a fine-grained study of technology. Technosystem brings these methods to bear on the resistances emerging in the world described by the radical social critics of the Frankfurt School.-- Provided by publisher.