By Albert Borgmann (auth.), Paul T. Durbin (eds.)
As Europe strikes towards 1992 and entire financial solidarity, and as jap Europe attempts to discover its means within the new financial order, the USA hesitates. Will the hot ecu fiscal order be reliable for the U.S. or now not? this type of query is exacerbated by means of world-wide alterations within the technological order, most obvious in Japan's new techno-economic strength. As can be anticipated, philosophers were gradual to return to grips with such concerns, and shortage of curiosity is compounded through assorted philosophical types in numerous components of the area. What this quantity addresses is extra a question of conflicting types than a substantial disagreement with the real-world matters. yet there's a few try and be concrete. The symposium on Ivan Illich - with contributions from philosophers and social critics on the Penns- vania kingdom college, the place Illich has taught for a number of years - may perhaps recommend the outdated cliche of outdated global vs. New international. Illich's fulminations opposed to expertise are frequently brushed off via american citizens as old-world-style prophecy, whereas Illich turns out mostly unknown in his local Europe. yet Albert Borgmann, born in Germany although now settled within the united states, exhibits that this outdated dichotomy is hard to take care of in our technological global. Borgmann's concentration is on pressing technological difficulties that experience turn into virtually painfully obvious in either Europe and America.
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Extra resources for Europe, America, and Technology: Philosophical Perspectives
Their workings are hidden" from us (p. 59). By contrast, from personal trial-and-error engagementit is possible to learn not only how to use a convivial tool, but how it works. What are today called "user-friendlyinterfaces"in no way address the disparity Illich identifies. )8 Because of the separationof teaching about how to work things from learning about how things work, modem education is incapable of bringing about the kind of radical transformationof behaviorrequiredby the presentmulti-dimensionalcrisis.
Consider also Don Ihde. Neither Technics and Praxis nor Existential Technics makes any reference to Illich. On the one hand, this is more understandablethan with Winner; Ihde analyzes not so much discussions about the politics of tools as tools in scientific research and, to some moderate extent, leisure. On the other hand, Illich himself also provides insights into the phenomenology of human-technologyinteractions that complement Ibde's work. Ihde's work, like Illich's, is focused more on 46 CARL MITCHAM the using of tools than on their making; but unlike Illich, Ihde is concerned primarily with scientific instrumentationor the cognitive use of tools to the exclusion of more quotidianengagements such as education, transportation,and medicine.
At the same time, the inversion of the politics of tools that would result must be shown to be, not just ideal, but also necessary. Ought implies not only can, but demand. "To translate the theoretical possibility of a postindustrialconvivial life style into a political programfor new tools, it must be shown that the prevailing fundamentalstructureof our present tools menaces the survival of mankind" (p. 45). The carrot is to be complementedby the stick. In response to each of these, Illich seeks to recoverthree principlesof moral, political, and juridical procedurethat underlie his critique of tools: the legitimacy of agonistic discussion, the rightful influence of history or tradition, and the primacy of non-professionals "for binding policy decisions" (p.