Gabriel Rockhill is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and the author, editor, and translator of many books, including Jacques Rancière: History, Politics, Aesthetics, also published by Duke University Press, and Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics.
Are We Really Living in a Technological Era?
The second chapter advances a critique of the structural binaries that guide much of the contemporary debate on technology: historical discontinuity and continuity, autonomy and heteronomy, technophilia and technophobia. In each case, it proposes to break with the theoretical coordinates of the debate in order to outline an alternative approach. This includes taking technology to be a situated phenomenon that is embedded in variable practices and material institutions, making it a site of multiple agencies rather than a monolithic concept to be defined, situated, or judged once and for all. Arguing, finally, that technologies are always uniquely distributed in the chronological, geographic, and social dimensions of history, this chapter concludes by proposing alternative methodologies for mapping and making sense of technologies in the current historical conjuncture.