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Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 22, Issue 3, 2018

Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Technology

Langdon Winner
Pages 296-313
DOI: 10.5840/techne2018111485

Technological Investigations
Wittgenstein’s Liberating Presence

Although Ludwig Wittgenstein did not offer a fully developed philosophy of technology, his writings contain an approach to inquiry that can be employed to explore situations in which people contend with technological devices and systems. His notions of ‘language games’ and ‘forms of life’ as well as the dramatic, imaginary dialogues in his later writings offer ways to transcend the sometimes rigid theoretical frameworks in contemporary technology studies. Especially as applied to rapidly moving infusions of computing and digital electronics in contemporary society, Wittgenstein’s writings offer possibilities for fresh insight and even some practical alternatives.