Concrete/abstract: Sketches for a Self-Reflexive Epistemology of Technology Use

Foundations of Science 22 (2):433-442 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This essay takes an epistemological perspective on the question of the ‘art of living with technology.’ Such an approach is needed as our everyday notion and understanding of technology keep being framed in the old categories of instrumentalism and essentialism—notwithstanding philosophy of technology’s substantial attempts, in recent times, to bridge the stark dichotomy between those two viewpoints. Here, the persistent dichotomous thinking still characterizing our everyday involvement with technology is traced back to the epistemological distinction between ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract.’ Those terms are often contrasted, and a tendency can be found, in the literature as well as in popular discourse, to either conceptually favor one of both or let them collapse into each other. The current essay makes a plea, in an exploratory manner, and on the basis of insights hailing from among others Gregory Bateson and Alfred Korzybski, to not choose either one of those options, but to practice ourselves in navigating ladders of abstraction.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,069

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Determining technology: myopia and dystopia.Gregory Swer - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):201-210.
Technology and the Rise of Technique.Timothy Kevin Casey - 1986 - Dissertation, Duquesne University
Philosophy of technology.Frederick Ferré - 1988 - Athens: University of Georgia Press.
Composite Objects and the Abstract/Concrete Distinction.Daniel A. Kaufman - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:215-238.
Against the Abstract/Concrete Distinction.Susan Carol Hale - 1988 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Concerning Technology.Tracy Colony - 2009 - Idealistic Studies 39 (1-3):23-34.
Awareness of Abstract Objects.Elijah Chudnoff - 2012 - Noûs 47 (4):706-726.
Disasterologies.Tony Grajeda - 2005 - Social Epistemology 19 (4):315 – 319.
What are We Experiencing?Whachul Son - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 48:65-73.


Added to PP

16 (#789,512)

6 months
1 (#1,087,801)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?