Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Marcuse, design and technology

I did read parts of this book a while ago, but now I am reading it again. The book is "Heidegger and Marcuse -- The Catastrophe and Redemption of History" by Andrew Feenberg. I have not spent so much time on the parts on Heidegger, instead I have focused on the chapters on Marcuse and especially the chapter "Aesthetic Redemption". If you are not used to texts by "real" philosophers, this is not an easy book to read, but if you have an interest in an alternative way to understanding our society and how it relates to modern technology, then the book is for you.

I would recommend any reader to start with Marcuse's famous book "The one-dimensional man". One of the best books dealing with our problems of understanding our society, since we are so completely entrenched in it. The two books together advocates the idea that radical change is not found in empirical observations, instead we have to develop our ability to both stay close to our experiences of the world while we also keep, develop and explore radical critical theoretical analyses. Difficult -- yes. Useful -- certainly! For me, Marcuse presents a position, different and refreshing, that can be read as a foundation for any design thinking. Read, think, reflect, be challenged!

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