Review: What Things Still Don't Do [Book Review]

Human Studies 32 (2):229 - 240 (2009)
Authors
David M. Kaplan
University of North Texas
Abstract
This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek's What Things Do (2006). The four things that Verbeek does well are: (1) remind us of the importance of technological things; (2) bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; (3) explain how technology "co-shapes" experience by reading Bruno Latour's actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde's post-phenomenology; (4) develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: (1) analyze the material conditions in which things are produced; (2) criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and (3) appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology.
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