Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction for Technology and Business Students, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Philosophy of Technology

An Introduction for Technology and Business Students, 1st Edition

By Maarten J Verkerk, Jan Hoogland, Jan van der Stoep, Marc J. de Vries


336 pages | 32 B/W Illus.

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Philosophy of Technology: An introduction for technology and business students is an accessible guide to technology’s changes , their ubiquitousness, and the many questions these raise. Designed for those with no philosophical background in mind, it is ideal for technology and engineering students or specialists who want to learn to think critically about how their work influences society and our daily lives.

The technological, business environment and daily experiences are the starting point of the book and the authors’ reflect upon these practices from a philosophical point of view. The text goes on to present a critical analysis of the subject including development, manufacturing, sales and marketing and the use of technological products and services. The abstract ideas are made easier to grasp with a story-telling approach: a vivid history of the discipline and colourful portraits of the core thinkers in this domain, as well as four case studies drawing from various engineering disciplines to demonstrate how philosophy can and should influence technology in practice.

The first comprehensive introduction to this vibrant young sub-discipline in over 20 years, this is an ideal textbook for students of technology and engineering beginning a course or project in the philosophy of their subject.


Philosophy of Technology deepens especially my appreciation for the work of the authors Verkerk, van der Stoep, Hoogland, and de Vries. Their insightful contributions to critical philosophical reflection on technology fully deserve the wider audience this publication will promote.’ – Carl Mitcham, Ph. D., Hans Jonas Chair at the European Graduate School EGS and Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies, Colorado School of Mines, USA

‘This book is an interesting read for anyone interested in how philosophers have analyzed and interpreted the influence of technology on the modern human condition.’ - Peter Kroes, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

'The authors’ ability to introduce the topics of the field and engage readers in the discussion leads to a brilliantly executed work. One hopes that this title will advance the field by inspiring students to pursue many of the fascinating questions introduced.' - B. Mitchell, independent scholar, CHOICE

Table of Contents

Part I: Thinking & Making 1. Thinking & Technology: Between analysis & criticism Portrait Carl Mitcham 2. Speaking in a Two-Sided Way: The meaning of disclosure & the disclosure of meaning Portrait Martin Heidegger Part II: Making & Designing 3. The World of Technology: Three kinds of complexity Portrait Lewis Mumford 4. The Artefact [I]: Diversity & coherence Portrait Alasdair MacIntyre 5. The Artefact [II]: Identity, function & structure Portrait Gilbert Simondon Case Study I: Nanotechnology 6. Knowledge of Designing: The role of the engineer Portrait Herbert Simon 7. Design & Reality: Methodological obstinacy Portrait Bruno Latour 8. Technology & Production: From dehumanisation to the human measure Portrait Larry Hickman Case Study II: The New Factory Part III: Designing & Thinking 9. The Rules of the Game: Technology as a social practice Portrait Langdon Winner 10. Symmetries: Between pessimists & optimists Portrait Jacques Ellul 11. Clashing Worlds: Globalisation & cultural diversity Portrait Albert Borgmann Case Study III: Network Enabled Military Operations 12. The Homo Technicus: From device to cyborg Portrait Don Ihde 13. ‘Good’ Technology?: Normative artefacts & the web of responsibilities Portrait Egbert Schuurman Case Study IV: Innovation in Health Care 14. Expectations for the Future: The secular sacred and the limits of technology Portrait Andrew Feenberg

About the Authors

Maarten J. Verkerk is Affiliate Professor in Reformational Philosophy at Eindhoven University of Technology and Maastricht University, the Netherlands. He is also a member of the Board for VitaValley, an innovation network in health care.

Jan Hoogland is Affiliate Professor in Reformational Philosophy at the University of Twente and Professor in Society Issues and Formative Education at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. He is also editor-in-chief of the journal Sofie.

Jan van der Stoep holds the chair for Media, Religion and Culture at the Ede Christian University of Applied Science, the Netherlands. He is also a member of the editorial board of Philosophia Reformata.

Marc J. de Vries is Professor of Science and Technology Education and Affiliate Professor of Christian Philosophy at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Technology & Design Education.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Modern