In this widely taught introductory survey, Frederick Ferré explains the fundamental concerns and methods of philosophy and then guides readers through a philosophical inquiry into some of the major issues surrounding technology's impact on our lives.
The first half of the book concentrates on key definitions and epistemological issues, including an overview of philosophy as applied to technology, a definition of technology, and an examination of technology as it relates to practical and theoretical intelligence--especially how high technology relates to modern science and how science depends on technical craft. The second half addresses the problems of living with technology. Ferré contrasts Karl Marx's and Buckminster Fuller's "bright" visions of technology and modern existence with the "somber" visions of Martin Heidegger and Herbert Marcuse. Next, in offering direction for an ethical assessment of technology, Ferré poses questions about workplace automation, computers, nuclear energy, Third World development, and genetic engineering. Finally, the book considers debates about the mutual influences between technology and religion, and technology and metaphysics. A glossary and a list of suggested further readings are included.
Providing a philosophical framework that will remain timely in the face of rapid technological change, Philosophy of Technology will help students in both the sciences and liberal arts to examine comprehensively their own and society's fundamental beliefs and attitudes about technology.