David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Epistemology 22 (1):5 – 28 (2008)
This paper explores the sense in which modern societies can be said to be rational. Social rationality cannot be understood on the model of an idealized image of scientific method. Neither science nor society conforms to this image. Nevertheless, critique is routinely silenced by neo-liberal and technocratic arguments that appeal to social simulacra of science. This paper develops a critical strategy for addressing the resistance of rationality to rational critique. Romantic rejection of reason has proven less effective than strategies that conceptualize modern artefacts, systems, and organizations as rationally underdetermined. This approach first appears in Marx's analysis of capitalist economics. Although he lacks the concept of underdetermination, Marx gets around the silencing effect of social rationality with something very much like it in his discussion of the length of the working day. Frankfurt School Critical Theory later blended romantic elements with Marxian ones in a suggestive but ambiguous mixture. The concept of underdetermination reappears in contemporary science and technology studies, now clearly articulated and philosophically and sociologically elaborated. But somewhere along the way the critical thrust was diluted. Critical theory of technology attempts to recover that thrust. Here its approach is generalized to cover the three main forms of social rationality.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Michel Foucault (1977). Discipline and Punish. Vintage Books.
Bruno Latour (1993). We Have Never Been Modern. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Yingqin Zheng & Bernd Carsten Stahl (2011). Technology, Capabilities and Critical Perspectives: What Can Critical Theory Contribute to Sen's Capability Approach? [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 13 (2):69-80.
Hans Radder (2008). Critical Philosophy of Technology: The Basic Issues. Social Epistemology 22 (1):51 – 70.
Bernd Carsten Stahl, Neil F. Doherty, Mark Shaw & Helge Janicke (2014). Critical Theory as an Approach to the Ethics of Information Security. Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (3):675-699.
A. P. Bos (2008). Instrumentalization Theory and Reflexive Design in Animal Husbandry. Social Epistemology 22 (1):29 – 50.
Johan Söderberg (2011). Reconstructivism Versus Critical Theory of Technology: Alternative Perspectives on Activism and Institutional Entrepreneurship in the Czech Wireless Community. Social Epistemology 24 (4):239-262.
Similar books and articles
Douglas Kellner, Review-Article on Andrew Feenberg, Questioning Technology. New York and London, Routledge, 1999.
Kevin DeLuca (2001). Rethinking Critical Theory: Instrumental Reason, Judgment, and the Environmental Crisis. Environmental Ethics 23 (3):307-325.
Joseph Heath (1996). Rational Choice as Critical Theory. Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (5):43-62.
Andrew Feenberg (1996). Marcuse or Habermas: Two Critiques of Technology. Inquiry 39 (1):45 – 70.
A. B. C. Adi, Kenneth M. Amaeshi & Paul Nnodim, Revisiting the Rational Choice and Rationality Debate in the Social Sciences: Is Theory Possible Without Rationality?
Danny Frederick (2013). Popper, Rationality and the Possibility of Social Science. Theoria 28 (1):61-75.
Andrew Feenberg (2002). Transforming Technology: A Critical Theory Revisited. Oxford University Press.
Andrew Feenberg (2009). Radical Philosophy of Technology. Radical Philosophy Review 12 (1/2):199-217.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads479 ( #2,479 of 1,911,321 )
Recent downloads (6 months)123 ( #1,904 of 1,911,321 )
How can I increase my downloads?