Technology and Society

Professor Wolfgang Drechsler

A sophisticated understanding of technology, and technology governance, requires that one looks at, and understands, its “dark side” and its existence-changing, epochal power in the modern world as well.  In this course, the aim is to introduce, pars pro toto, one of the main schools of technology critique (that of the “Conservative Revolution” of the German Weimar Republic associated with the names Freyer, Heidegger, the Jünger brothers, and Gehlen), as well as one of the main technophobic utopias (the Arts & Crafts movement associated with Ruskin and Morris), to investigate their philosophical arguments, to follow these lines of thought in their theoretical and practical implications to our days, and to discuss them on a culturological level as well. 

Arnold Gehlen, Man in the Age of Technology, New York, 1980 [1957].
Romano Guardini, Letters from Lake Como, Grand Rapids, 1994 [1927].
Friedrich Georg Jünger, The Failure of Technology: Perfection without Purpose, Chicago, 1956 [1944].
Manufactum catalog,
William Morris, Notes from Nowhere, Mineola, 2004 [1890].

Credits: 3
Grade: pass/fail
Mandatory: Yes