Cover of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology


Volume 29, Issue 1, 2025 (projected)

Guest Editor: Mark Thomas Young, University of Vienna

Submission Deadline: February 15th 2024

  • Information for Authors
  • What happens to technologies after they are produced or constructed? Until recently, questions concerning how technologies are maintained over time were often neglected by scholarship on technology. Yet there is now an increasing awareness that the traditional focus in a variety of disciplines on processes of invention and innovation has hindered our understanding of the practices of maintenance and repair which are often necessary for the persistence of technologies through time. Recently, a range of disciplines such as history of technology, sociology, STS, anthropology and geography have begun addressing this lack by turning their attention to maintenance as an object of study. As a result, there is now a growing body of empirical and historical literature on maintenance which explores the richness and diversity of this form of technical practice. Yet insofar as this body of work has the potential to challenge dominant assumptions about the nature of technology and technical practices, it also has philosophical relevance, something which is not lost on scholars of maintenance and repair studies themselves, who frequently draw upon philosophical concepts and theories in order to articulate their claims.

    This special issue of Techné aims to bring such considerations into the spotlight, by providing an avenue for philosophical reflection on the nature and significance of maintenance practices. The editor invites contributions not only from philosophers interested in exploring the philosophical consequences and significance of maintenance, but also scholars working within maintenance and repair studies who are interested in engaging in reflection on the philosophical aspects of their work. Potential topics may include:

    • New perspectives on the temporality of artifacts
    • The nature of expertise
    • Phenomenological perspectives on maintenance
    • Critical and feminist perspectives on labor (i.e., invisible labor)
    • The Political nature of artifacts
    • Resilience and socio-technical systems
    • Technology and process philosophy
    • Sustainability, Circular Economy and Environmental Philosophy
    • Situating maintenance among philosophical theories of making and use
    • The meaning or nature of maintenance as a unitary or divided form of technical practice

    Papers typically range between 6000 and 8000 words (including notes and references). Papers will be anonymously reviewed and should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words.

    Contributions must be submitted online through the journal’s ScholarOne manuscript submission site. Please include the special issue’s title: ‘Technology Over Time: Philosophical Perspectives on Maintenance’ in the cover letter.

    For detailed instructions on how to prepare manuscripts for submission please consult the journal’s Submission Guidelines.

    NOTE: Prior to submission, prospective authors are welcome to contact guest editor Mark Thomas Young at [email protected] with questions or suggestions.