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A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

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Chapter 32

Analytic Philosophy of Technology

MAARTEN FRANSSEN

The first thing that should be noted about analytic philosophy of technology is that there is not a more or less unified subfield of that name within philosophy with a consensus on a list of central problems and a canon of key writings, as is the case for (analytic) philosophy of science. It is only during the last four decades that analytic philosophers have turned to technology. Analytic philosophy of technology is, therefore, at best an emerging discipline, and it is still too early to be convinced that it will grow into a mature field comparable in extent to the philosophy of science. The contingencies of historical development play a large role in such matters.

Analytic philosophy is primarily a way of doing philosophy, or a view on what meaningful philosophy is about: what sorts of questions are worth asking and what sorts of answers to these questions are acceptable. Accordingly, it is defined by method, not by subject. Nevertheless, some subjects in philosophy are closer to the heart of analytic philosophy than others. What characterizes analytic philosophy is an abhorrence of system-building and speculation, a preference for a detailed treatment of clearly delineated problems, an emphasis on clear definitions of the concepts used to put a problem and to answer it, an emphasis on language, conceptualization and formalization, a general acknowledgment of the relevance of empirical facts, and a great respect for ...

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