Books  |    |  April 27, 2016

The Ethics of Ordinary Technology

Book by Michel Puech.
Published by Routledge – Taylor & Francis.
238 pages.

Technology is even more than our world, our form of life, our civilization. Technology interacts with the world to change it. Philosophers need to seriously address the fluidity of a smartphone interface, the efficiency of a Dyson vacuum cleaner, or the familiar noise of an antique vacuum cleaner. Beyond their phenomenological description, the emotional experience acquires moral significance and in some cases even supplies ethical resources for the self. If we leave this dimension of modern experience unaddressed, we may miss something of value in contemporary life.

Combining European humanism, Anglophone pragmatism, and Asian traditions, Michel Puech pleads for an “ethical turn” in the way we understand and address technological issues in modern day society. Puech argues that the question of “power” is what needs to be reconsidered today. In doing so, he provides a three-tier distinction of power: power to modify the outer world (our first-intention method in any case: technology); power over other humans (our enduring obsession: politics and domination); power over oneself (ethics and wisdom).

Table of Contents

  • An Introduction to Technoethics
  • Technosapiens: The Coevolution of Nature, Humankind, and Technology
  • Ordinary Technologies and Ethical Significance
  • The Self in the Age of Pervasive Technology
  • Deep Sustainability and Personal Microactions
  • Ordinary Wisdom in the Technosphere

About the Author

Michel Puech is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Paris-Sorbonne University, France. His current work focuses on the notion of modern wisdom, combining philosophy of technology, applied ethics, and Asian schools of thought.