Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook

Technology, Pessimism, and Postmodernism

Editors: Ezrahi, Yaron, Mendelsohn, E., Segal, Howard (Eds.)

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About this book

HOWARD P. SEGAL, FOR THE EDITORS In November 1979 the Humanities Department of the University of Michi­ gan's College of Engineering sponsored a symposium on ''Technology and Pessimism. " The symposium included scholars from a variety of fields and carefully balanced critics and defenders of modern technology, broadly defined. Although by this point it was hardly revolutionary to suggest that technology was no longer automatically equated with optimism and in turn with unceasing social advance, the idea of linking technology so explicitly with pessimism was bound to attract attention. Among others, John Noble Wilford, a New York Times science and technology correspondent, not only covered the symposium but also wrote about it at length in the Times the following week. As Wilford observed, "Whatever their disagreements, the participants agreed that a mood of pessimism is overtaking and may have already displaced the old optimistic view of history as a steady and cumulative expansion of human power, the idea of inevitable progress born in the Scientific and Industrial Rev­ olutions and dominant in the 19th century and for at least the first half of this century. " Such pessimism, he continued, "is fed by growing doubts about soci­ ety's ability to rein in the seemingly runaway forces of technology, though the participants conceded that in many instances technology was more the symbol than the substance of the problem.

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Technology, Pessimism, and Postmodernism: Introduction

    Segal, Howard P.

    Pages 1-10

  • The Idea of “Technology” and Postmodern Pessimism

    Marx, Leo

    Pages 11-28

  • Technology and the Illusion of the Escape from Politics

    Ezrahi, Yaron

    Pages 29-37

  • Joseph Glanvill’s Plus Ultra and Beyond: Or How to Delay the Rise of Modern Science

    Reichert, Klaus

    Pages 39-51

  • A Victorian Thunderstorm: Lightning Protection and Technological Pessimism in the Nineteenth Century

    Yavetz, Ido

    Pages 53-75

Buy this book

eBook $189.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-011-0876-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $249.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-7923-2630-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $249.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-010-4379-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Technology, Pessimism, and Postmodernism
Editors
  • Yaron Ezrahi
  • E. Mendelsohn
  • Howard Segal
Series Title
Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook
Series Volume
17
Copyright
1994
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-011-0876-8
DOI
10.1007/978-94-011-0876-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-7923-2630-4
Softcover ISBN
978-94-010-4379-3
Series ISSN
0167-2320
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 218
Topics