Democracy in a Technological Society by Langdon Winner (auth.), Langdon Winner (eds.)

By Langdon Winner (auth.), Langdon Winner (eds.)

This 9th quantity is without doubt one of the such a lot arnbitious within the Philosophy and know-how sequence. Edited through technopolitical thinker Langdon Winner, it assembles a magnificent choice of philosophers and political theorists to debate some of the most very important themes of the top of the 20 th century - the bearing of know-how, in all its rarnifica­ tions, at the perform of democratic politics within the built international. whilst set beside the former quantity within the sequence - Europe, the United States, and Teehnology - the 2 jointly open a philosophical discussion of serious importance concerning the methods know-how demanding situations democracy at its very roots. a few philosophers imagine the assault is deadly. Others are confident that democratic skill should be came across, or invented, for the regulate of know-how. nonetheless others item to an optimism-versus-pes­ simism formula of the difficulty. yet alI agree that the problem is extremely major, one who calls for severe philosophical inquiry. The Society for Philosophy and expertise used to be lucky in with the ability to draw this workforce of writers to Bordeaux, France, in 1989, besides a good number of others whose contributions to the controversy couldn't be integrated right here. it truly is both lucky to have selected Langdon Winner as president whilst the time carne to choose the simplest of the papers to model this quantity. collage of Delaware PAUL T.

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Although people still depend on an external natural world, they proceed to set up a new order characterized by expanding relations among groups, increasing exploitation of natural resources, and the rise of a rudimentary division of labor. In other words, a second order is formed for humanity, which, in the course of the "historical" age becomes society in its true sense. The human being now lives within an organized society. The sharing of labor and responsibility, coordination of collective power, cooperation for defense against natural dangers, and creation of rules for coexistence are now the conditions that make life possible.

Whatever the merits of Hansen's view, it cannot be censored or deformed on grounds of its political unpalatability without undercutting the reliability of any policy decis ion. The dangers of uninformed, underinformed, misinformed policy decisions on issues of this scale and scope are so great that truth, or the best available versions of it, are requisite for decisions on the rational 34 MARX W. WARTOFSKY control of technology. The power over technology in the hands of those who are afraid of the truth is the most dangerous power on earth.

Als and advantages, would be left to decide if the game is worth the pnce. But even if the demos is aware of ali such data, even if it has been informed on every problem on which it is to decide, would this be sufficient? Is it possible to expect the people as a whole to want to choose rationally? Would people be inclined to accept, for example, even a temporary halt to "progress" and to the growth of consumption? Would they be willing, given the importance of the stakes, to accept even a slight lowering of the living standards and comforts of modern life or a certain amount of austerity?

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