Books on the Philosophy of Technology
Techology bewitches, seduces, entrances, and benefits us. Since it lies in the background of our thinking and acting, it remains invisible–despite its daunting powers. A wise person will interpret oneself and one’s context in order to live according to the Goos, The True, and the Beautiful. To that end, consider these works on the culture-shaping and mind-shaping powers of technology. These books, unlike so many others, are not about efficiently using technology, but about not letting technology use us.
1. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death. 1985. The best critique of television ever written.
2. Neil Postman, Technopology. 1990. His theoretical work on how technology shapes and often debases cultures.
3. Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society. An early and astute evaluation of the hidden influence of technology, given the value of technique.
4. Jacques Ellul, The Humiliation of the Word. 1985. A brilliant work explaining the decline of writing in light of the ascent of the image.
1. Nicholas Carr, The Shallows. 2009. Explains how the Internet is adversing effecting our thinking. Special emphasis on neuroscience.
2. Douglas Groothuis, The Soul in Cyberspace. 1997. An early work critiquing the Internet. Perhaps a bit of a period peace, but it does explain fundamental categories of technological interpretation.
3. Quentin Schult, Habits of the High Tech Heart. 2002. A thorough and thoughtful assessment.