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Review: What Things Still Don't Do

Reviewed Work: What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design by Peter-Paul Verbeek
Review by: David M. Kaplan
Human Studies
Vol. 32, No. 2 (Jun., 2009), pp. 229-240
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40270691
Page Count: 12
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What Things Still Don't Do
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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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