According to critical theory of technology, technologies are neither neutral nor deterministic, but are encoded with specific socio-economic values and interests. Feenberg explores how they can be developed and adapted to more or less democratic values and institutions, and how their future is subject to social action, negotiation and reinterpretation. Technologies bring with them a particular "rationality," sets of rules and implied ways of behaving and thinking which, despite their profound influence on institutions, ideas and actions, can be transformed in a process of democratic rationalization. Feenberg argues that the emergence of human communication on the Internet and the environmental movement offer abundant examples of public interventions that have reshaped technologies originally designed for different purposes. This volume includes chapters on citizenship and critical theory of technology, philosophy of technology and modernity, and Heidegger and Marcuse, two of the most prominent philosophers of technology.
Eduardo Beira is an engineer teaching at the University of Minho and the MIT Portugal Program.