Jacques ellul the technological society pdf
The Technological Society by Jacques EllulThis book is another truly remarkable exposition of the relation between technology and society, along with Mumfords, Pentagon of Power. This book, as with the latter, goes far beyond a mere criticism of technologies. It examines the nature of Technique, which is the collective organization of a society mediated and, in the end, increasingly driven by technology. The ideology of efficiency which drives technologies becomes incorporated into every aspect of the social structure.
This book is much more pessimistic than Pentagon of Power. It is also quite a heavy read. Ellul, perhaps even more than Mumford, thoroughly destroys the deluded notion that technology is somehow neutral. He painstakingly lays out the ways in which technology underwent crucial and fundamental qualitative shifts during the industrial revolution. This means that technologies before and after cannot be meaningfully compared, except in very general ways. This explodes the usual arguments that hammers and computers are both tools and are therefore essentially the same. These simple-minded arguments ignore the rest of Technique - the social and economic machinery that goes into their creation and production. Needless to say, the technologizing of our culture may not be so healthy.
This book really changed the way I think and caused me to question my environment in a serious way. I think it should be read by everyone who can understand it! I formed a discussion group based partially around it back in the early 90s, though I must admit the response was somewhat disappointing. It is not an easy book to wrap your mind around and it challenges such basic assumptions that it can be hard to come to grips with. It is also a bit dark and scary. Nonetheless, I think it is essential reading for our times.
The Technological Society
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Confronting the Technological Society
PDF version. - The Technological Society is a book on the subject of technique by French philosopher, theologian and sociologist Jacques Ellul.
This volume rethinks the work of Jacques Ellul on the centenary of his birth, by presenting an overview of the current debates based on Ellul's insights. As one of the most significant twentieth-century thinkers about technology, Ellul was among the first thinkers to realize the importance of topics such as globalization, terrorism, communication technologies and ecology, and study them from a technological perspective. The book is divided into three sections. The second analyzes communicational and cultural problems, as well as threats and trends in early twenty-first century societies. Many of the issues Ellul saw as crucial — such as energy, propaganda, applied life sciences and communication — continue to be so. In fact they have grown exponentially, on a global scale, producing new forms of risk.