Critical Theory of Technology: Feenberg

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Feenberg believes his Critical Theory of Technology to be the most useful and accurate of his three theories on technology. His critical theory of technology is said to be a combination of the best points of both the substantive and instrumental theories of technology while simultaneously allowing for technological progress. For the purpose of this paper, I will go into depth on Feenberg's critical theory of technology; however, in order to understand this theory, we must briefly examine his two other theories of technology, which are the substantive, and the instrumental theories of technology. Feenberg has three views of technology. They are the instrumental theory, the substantive theory, and the critical theories of technology. The instrumental theory is "the dominant view of modern governments and the policy sciences on which they rely." (Feenberg P. 5) It views technology as inferior to certain values in other societies. The substantive theory "argues that technology constitutes a new type of cultural system that restructures the entire social world as an object of control." (Feenberg p. 7) This substantive theory forces technology on societies typical customs and ideas. The third view on technology is what Feenberg believes to be the most useful and accurate. This would be his critical theory of technology, which is said to be a combination of the best points of both the substantive and instrumental theories of technology while allowing for technological progress as well. The substantive theory of technology argues that the effect technology has on society is more damaging then the visible effects of the technologies themselves. Jacques Ellul and Martin Heidegger believe that technology establishes a new way of living that rebuilds society as something that they cannot control themselves. An example would be to compare fast food to a home cooked meal. Though some argue that fast food is an amazing technology in itself by allowing one to receive hot food...
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