Saturday, May 19, 2007

Peter-Paul Verbeek "What Things Do"

A while back I mentioned here that I had started to read "What Things Do" by Peter-Paul Verbeek. Now I have read more, and the book becomes more and more important to me. Verbeek presents a perspective on technology studies and philosophy of technology that deeply resonates with my own view since many years back, of course I have not written about it :-)

The point that Verbeek makes is that philosophy of technology has to focus on things and artifacts and not deal with overall analysis of preconditions and the origin of things, or Technology with a capital T. Things in themselves "do" things in relation to people. This is not a radically new perspective, but what I appreciate it the way Verbeek makes his case in a way that strongly resonates with design and interaction.

I highly recommend this book!

3 comments:

Tomas Lindroth said...

About things that do. Latours article "Where are the missing masses" touches upon this.

http://www.bruno-latour.fr/articles/article/050.html

but I have always thought that Latours writing style is hard to understand. Mike Michaels "Reconnecting Culture, Technology and Nature" is another book on technologies role as an actor or as a co-agency. He use Road Rage and the remote control as examples of technologies that affect us. Thus, how the remote control is creating the couch potato. Interesting and fun reading...

Stolterman said...

Hi Tomas

Thanks for the recommendations. I knew of Latour and Verbeek writes a lot about him in his book. I will look into the others...

thanks
Erik

Anonymous said...

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