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Philosophy - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science | The Capability Approach, Technology and Design

The Capability Approach, Technology and Design

Oosterlaken, Ilse, van den Hoven, Jeroen (Eds.)

2012, VI, 258 p.

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  • First book to apply the capability approach of Martha Nussbaum and Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen to technology and design
  • Great policy relevance: technology is crucial to justice and development challenges in the 21st century
  • Well-balanced mixture of theoretical reflections and practical applications

The capability approach of Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen places human capabilities at the centre stage of discussions about justice, equality, development and the quality of life. It rejects too much emphasis on mere preference satisfaction or resource provision and highlights the importance of human agency and freedom. This approach has already significantly influenced different fields of application, like economics and development studies. Only recently have scholars started to explore its relevance for and application to the area of technology and design, which can be crucial factors in the expansion of human capabilities. How does technology influence human capabilities? What difference could a capability approach make to policies and practices of applying ICT in development processes in the South? How can we criticize and improve the design of technology from the perspective of the capability approach?

The authors of this volume explore the implications of the capability approach for technology & design and together create the first volume on this emerging topic.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Capability Space - Emerging ICT - Enhanced technology - One Laptop per Child - Technology and Democrazy

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Mechanical Engineering

Table of contents 

PART I - INTRODUCTION.- 1. The Capability Approach and Technology: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead; Ilse Oosterlaken.- 2.  Human Capabilities and Technology; Jeroen van den Hoven.- PART II - TECHNOLOGY.- 3. Liberation from / Liberation within: Examining ‘One Laptop Per Child’ with Amartya Sen and Bruno Latour; Kim Kullman and Nick Lee.- 4.  Evaluating Emerging ICTs: A Critical Capability Approach of Technology; Yinqin Zheng and Bern Carsten Stahl.- 5. “How I Learned to Love the Robot”: Capabilities, Information Technologies, and Elderly Care; Mark Coeckelberg.- 6. Towards a Sustainable Synergy: End-use Energy Planning, Development as Freedom, Inclusive Institutions and Democratic Technics; Manu V. Mathai.- 7. Marrying the Capability Approach, Appropriate Technology and STS: The Case of Podcasting Devices in Zimbabwe; Ilse Oosterlaken, David J. Grimshaw and Pim Janssen.- 8. From Individuality to Collectivity: The Challenges for Technology-oriented Development Projects; Álvaro Fernández-Baldor,  Andrés Hueso and Alejandra Boni.- 9. Technology Choice in Aid-Assisted Parliamentary Strengthening Projects in Developing Countries – A Capability Approach; Malik Aleem Ahmed.- PART III - DESIGN.- 10. Design, Risk and Capabilities; Colleen Murphy and Paolo Gardoni.- 11. Re-conceptualizing Design through the Capability Approach; Crighton Nichols and Andy Dong.- 12. Processes for Just Products: The Capability Space of Participatory Design; Alexandre Apsan Frediani and Camillo Boano.- 13. Inappropriate Artifact, Unjust Design? Human Diversity as a Key Concern in the Capability Approach and Inclusive Design; Ilse Oosterlaken.- About the authors.- Name index.- Subject Index.

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