This huge quantity offers the main entire and authoritative number of the fundamental basic readings in post-war political philosophy.
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Extra info for Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)
Although one can recognize a particular result produced in a particular setting, one can also easily imagine how a roughly similar device or system might have been built or situated with very much different political consequences. The idea we must now examine and evaluate is that certain kinds of technology do not allow such flexibility, and that to choose them is to choose unalterably a particular form of political life. A remarkably forceful statement of one version of this argument appears in Friedrich Engels's little essay "On Authority" 29 A Philosophy of Technology written in 1872.
In that sense technological innovations are similar to legislative acts or political foundings that establish a framework for public order that will endure over many generations. For that reason the same careful attention one would give to the rules, roles, and relationships of politics must also be given to such things as the building of highways, the creation of television networks, and the tailoring of seemingly insignificant features on new machines. The issues that divide or unite people in society are settled not only in the institutions and practices of politics proper, but also, and less obviously, in tangible arrangements of steel and concrete, wires and semiconductors, nuts and bolts.
Russell W. characterize inherently political technologies. It is still true that in a world in which human beings make and maintain artificial systems nothing is "required" in an absolute sense. Nevertheless, once a course of action is under way, once artifacts such as nuclear power plants have been built and put in operation, the kinds of reasoning that justify the adaptation of social life to technical requirements pop up as spontaneously as flowers in the spring. " 26 After a certain point, those who cannot accept the hard requirements and imperatives will be dismissed as dreamers and fools.