Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life
By: Albert Borgmann
Technology is not neutral. The new displaces the old and changes the way society functions, for better or worse. This tendency can be seen in very simple practices, such as flipping a switch to illuminate an electric light bulb (displacing the practice of lighting a candle or oil lamp) as well as in overcoming larger challenges such as disease and hunger. Philosopher and author Albert Borgmann builds a strong argument cautioning against the power that technology wields in our lives. He believes that the benefits offered by technological advancement should not be discarded, but the danger of following along blindly can lead to rampant consumerism and the loss of much that is good in society. In exploring the idea of basic “focal practices” – sharing a homemade meal, going for a run, working with our hands – Borgmann unveils a model of engagement that can both embrace the good that innovation offers while holding fast to that which most strongly joins us all together in this world.
6" x 9". Softcover. Published by The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 1984. 302 pages.