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Technology and Isolation
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By reconsidering the theme of isolation in the philosophy of technology, and by drawing upon recent developments in social ontology, Lawson provides an account of technology that will be of interest and value to those working in a variety of different fields. Technology and Isolation includes chapters on the philosophy, history, sociology and economics of technology, and contributes to such diverse topics as the historical emergence of the term 'technology', the sociality of technology, the role of technology in social acceleration, the relationship between Marx and Heidegger, and the relationship between technology and those with autism. The central contribution of the book is to provide a new ontology of technology. In so doing, Lawson argues that much of the distinct character of technology can be explained or understood in terms of the dynamic that emerges from technology's peculiar constitutional mix of isolatable and non-isolatable components.


‘This calm and gracious book provides us with a turning point in our understanding of the philosophy of technology and the culture of technology. It returns us to the great moral tasks of philosophy by calling our attention to the living and breathing texture of society.’

Albert Borgmann - author of Real American Ethics

‘A remarkable book. It covers a wide range of topics related to technology with skill and clarity. It will appeal to many readers, including those interested in the philosophy of technology and science and technology studies.’

Andrew Feenberg - Simon Fraser University, British Columbia

‘A thorough survey of contemporary social ontology and philosophy of technology. Even if you are a newcomer to these fields, you will soon find yourself in command of a wide range of material thanks to Lawson’s erudition and clarity.’

Graham Harman - author of Immaterialism: Objects and Social Theory

'Lawson makes very skilful use of social ontology in order to approach classic issues in the philosophy of technology from a sociological perspective. A stimulating and provocative analysis for any philosopher of technology interested in the social dimension of technology.'

Peter Kroes - Technische Universiteit Delft, The Netherlands

‘Thought-provoking, well-argued and highly readable. Lawson makes a solid case for social ontologists and theorists of technology to take each other more seriously, sets out a persuasive 'ontology of technology' of his own and applies this perspective to reveal insights across a broad range of pivotal contemporary issues. It raises a set of questions and issues that merit considerable thought after one puts it down. It is a book that deserves to be widely read.’

David Tyfield - Lancaster University

'The need to understand our relationship with technology is becoming ever more salient in our networked high-speed society. Lawson’s fascinating book provides a fresh lens on this subject, showing that we can only grasp the specificity of technology through a philosophy of technology based on social ontology.’

Judy Wajcman - London School of Economics and Political Science

‘Lawson brilliantly arranges a current, concise and comprehensive survey of a range of different technology debates organized around his central theme of the ontology of isolation. The chapter on autism is exceptionally instructive and provocative.’

Hugh Willmott - Cardiff University

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