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Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 17, Issue 1, Winter 2013

Extending Feenberg: Toward the Instrumentalization of the Critical Theory of Technology

Peter-Paul Verbeek
Pages 72-92
DOI: 10.5840/techne20131715

Resistance Is Futile
Toward a Non-Modern Democratization of Technology

Andrew Feenberg’s political philosophy of technology uniquely connects the neo-Marxist tradition with phenomenological approaches to technology. This paper investigates how this connection shapes Feenberg’s analysis of power. Influenced by De Certeau and by classical positions in philosophy of technology, Feenberg focuses on a dialectical model of oppression versus liberation. A hermeneutic reading of power, though, inspired by the late Foucault, does not conceptualize power relations as external threats, but rather as the networks of relations in which subjects are constituted. Such a hermeneutic approach replaces De Certeau’s tactics of resistance with a critical and creative accompaniment of technological developments.