Graduate studies at Western
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (2):151-160 (2010)
|Abstract||Scholars have detected hostility to technology in Daoist thought. But is this a problem with any machine or only some applications of some machines by some people? I show that the problem is not with machines per se but with the people who introduce them, or more exactly with their knowledge. It is not knowledge as such that causes the disorder Laozi and Zhuangzi associate with machines; it is confused, disordered knowledge—superficial, inadequate, unsubtle, and artless. In other words the problem is not with machines but with the ethics of engineering and the government of technology. The Daoist argument does not devalue machines or knowledge of them; instead, it sets a new goal, defining an alternative ideal—alternative to techniques held hostage to despotic ideas about efficiency and profit.|
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