Crossing the Postmodern Divide with Borgmann or Adventures in Cyberspace

In his major works, Albert Borgmann has explored in depth and detail the role of technology in contemporary life and provided compelling critical, philosophical perspectives. In this study, I primarily discuss Crossing the Postmodern Divide (1992) in relation to the themes of his earlier Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life (1984). While appreciating Borgmann's attempt to provide distinctions between modernity and postmodernity as historical epochs, I challenge his analysis of a postmodern divide and sketch out an alternative conception of technology that critically engages some of Borgmann's positions. My argument will be that while technology threatens democracy, community, individual sovereignty, and other values many of us hold in common, it also provides the potential for a positive reconstruction of social life and an enhancement of human life. My provocation will be to deconstruct what I take to be a too sharp distinction in Borgmann's text between a "hyperreal" technosphere contrasted to a "real" world of concrete human interaction and focal activities. I attempt to show that some of Borgmann's own positive values can be realized in the cyberspaces of the new technologies and provide some examples. These reflections will force us to rethink the concepts of the public sphere, democracy, community, and technology.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Laureano Ralon, Interview with Albert Borgmann. Figure/Ground Communication's Scholarly Interview Series.
    David Lewin (2011). Technology and the Good Life. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (2):82-95.
    Albert Borgmann (1996). Technology and the Crisis of Contemporary Culture. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 70:33-44.
    Albert Borgmann (1999). Technology, Time, and the Conversations of Modernity. International Studies in Philosophy 31 (4):131-132.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    9 ( #128,855 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.