In Craig Hanks (ed.), Technology and Values: Essential Readings. Wiley-Blackwell (2010)

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This chapter appreciates the way focal things may counterbalance devices. It finds that Borgmann's evaluation of the device paradigm does not always bear out for individual devices. Simply because a technological object can be classified as a device does not necessarily mean that it will have the negative effects on engagement and human relationships that Borgmann's theory predicts; some devices actually foster these values, illustrating the chapter's points with a study done on women's use of telephones. “The machinery that clouds the story of a device does not appear to prevent that device from playing a role in relationship building.” If so, devices under some conditions may be more promising than Borgmann thinks; Michelfelder finds that devices can themselves support focal practices if they are used in a context of narrative and tradition.
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DOI 10.7208/chicago/9780226333885.003.0013
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