Cover: Technosystem: The Social Life of Reason, from Harvard University PressCover: Technosystem in HARDCOVER

Technosystem

The Social Life of Reason

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$36.00 • £28.95 • €32.50

ISBN 9780674971783

Publication Date: 10/02/2017

Text

256 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 halftones, 3 tables

World

We live in a world of technical systems designed in accordance with technical disciplines and operated by personnel trained in those disciplines. This is a unique form of social organization that largely determines our way of life, but the actions of individuals and social protest still play a role in developing and purposing these rational systems. In Technosystem, Andrew Feenberg builds a theory of both the threats of technocratic modernity and the potential for democratic change.

Feenberg draws on the tradition of radical social criticism represented by Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School, which recognized the social effects of instrumental rationality but did not advance a convincing alternative to the new forms of domination imposed by rational systems. That is where the fine-grained analyses of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) studies can contribute. Feenberg uses these approaches to reconcile the claims of rationality with the agency of a public increasingly mobilized to intervene in technically based decisions. The resulting social theory recognizes emerging forms of resistance, such as protests and hacking, as essential expressions of public life in the “rational society.”

Combining the most salient insights from critical theory with the empirical findings of STS, Technosystem advances the philosophical debate over the nature and practice of reason in modern society.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, by Anthony Abraham Jack, from Harvard University Press

Book Club Spotlight: The Privileged Poor

As students around the world deliberate their options for further education, only made more challenging in a pandemic, we’re reminded that getting in is only half the battle. In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack asks how—and why—do disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges? What can schools can do differently if these students are to thrive? As back to school season begins, we spoke to two university book clubs that read and discussed The Privileged Poor this summer.