Technics and Civilization

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Author: Lewis Mumford,Langdon Winner

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226550273

Category: History

Page: 495

View: 3338

Technics and Civilization first presented its compelling history of the machine and critical study of its effects on civilization in 1934—before television, the personal computer, and the Internet even appeared on our periphery. Drawing upon art, science, philosophy, and the history of culture, Lewis Mumford explained the origin of the machine age and traced its social results, asserting that the development of modern technology had its roots in the Middle Ages rather than the Industrial Revolution. Mumford sagely argued that it was the moral, economic, and political choices we made, not the machines that we used, that determined our then industrially driven economy. Equal parts powerful history and polemic criticism, Technics and Civilization was the first comprehensive attempt in English to portray the development of the machine age over the last thousand years—and to predict the pull the technological still holds over us today. “The questions posed in the first paragraph of Technics and Civilization still deserve our attention, nearly three quarters of a century after they were written.”—Journal of Technology and Culture

Art and Technics

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Author: Lewis Mumford

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231121057

Category: Social Science

Page: 162

View: 4003

A CLASSIC EXPLORATION OF THE MORAL PREDICAMENT OF ART IN A TECHNOLOGICAL SOCIETY Lewis Mumford -- architectural critic, theorist of technology, urbanologist, city planner, cultural critic, historian, biographer, and philosopher -- was the author of more than thirty influential books, many of which expounded his views on the perils of urban sprawl and a society obsessed with "technics". Featuring a new introduction by Casey Nelson Blake, this classic text provides the essence of Mumford's views on the distinct yet interpenetrating roles of technology and the arts in modern culture. Mumford contends that modern man's overemphasis on technics has contributed to the depersonalization and emptiness of much of twentieth-century life. He issues a call for a renewed respect for artistic impulses and achievements. His repeated insistence that technological development take the Human as its measure -- as well as his impassioned plea for humanity to make the most of its "splendid potentialities and promise" and reverse its progress toward anomie and destruction -- is ever more relevant as the new century dawns.

Man and Technics

A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life

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Author: Oswald Spengler

Publisher: Arktos

ISBN: 1910524174

Category: History

Page: 82

View: 8568

In this new and revised edition of Oswald Spengler’s classic, Man and Technics, Spengler makes a number of predictions that today, more than eighty years after the book was first published, have turned out to be remarkably accurate. Spengler predicted that industrialisation would lead to serious environmental problems and that countless species would become extinct. He also predicted that labour from Third World countries would increasingly outcompete Western workers by doing the same work for much lower wages, and that industrial production would therefore move to other parts of the world, such as East Asia, India, and South America. According to Spengler, technology has not only made it possible for man to harness the forces of nature; it has also alienated him from nature. Modern technology now dominates our culture instead of that which is natural and organic. After having made himself the master of nature, man has himself become technology’s slave. ‘The victor, crashed, is dragged to death by the team’, Spengler summarises. Finally, Spengler foresaw that Western man would eventually grow weary of his increasingly artificial lifestyle and begin to hate the civilisation he himself created. There is no way out of this conundrum as the unrelenting progress of technological development cannot be halted. The current high-tech culture of the West is therefore doomed, destined to be consumed from within and destroyed. A time will come, Spengler writes, when our giant cities and skyscrapers have fallen in ruins and lie forgotten ‘just like the palaces of old Memphis and Babylon’. It remains to be seen if this last, and most dire, of Spengler’s prophecies will also come true.

Fifty Key Works of History and Historiography

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Author: Kenneth R. Stunkel

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136723668

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 4451

Fifty Key Works of History and Historiography introduces some of the most important works ever written by those who have sought to understand, capture, query and interpret the past. The works covered include texts from ancient times to the present day and from different cultural traditions ensuring a wide variety of schools, methods and ideas are introduced. Each of the fifty texts represents at least one of six broad categories: early examples of historiography (e.g. Herodotus and Augustine) non-western works (e.g. Shaddad and Fukuzawa) ‘Critical’ historiography (e.g. Mabillon and Ranke) history of minorities, neglected groups or subjects (e.g. Said and Needham) broad sweeps of history (e.g. Mumford and Hofstadter) problematic or unconventional historiography (e.g. Foucault and White). Each of the key works is introduced in a short essay written in a lively and engaging style which provides the ideal preparation for reading the text itself. Complete with a substantial introduction to the field, this book is the perfect starting point for anyone new to the study of history or historiography.

The City in History

Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

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Author: Lewis Mumford

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780156180351

Category: History

Page: 657

View: 8038

An examination of Cities of the Western world tracing their development from Egypt through the Middle Ages to the present

The Pentagon of Power

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Author: Lewis Mumford

Publisher: Harcourt

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 8598

Examines contemporary man's preoccupation with technology appraising mass production and automation and their by-products pollution, mass destruction, and waste

The Decline of the West

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Author: Oswald Spengler

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195066340

Category: Philosophy

Page: 414

View: 2982

Spengler's work describes how we have entered into a centuries-long "world-historical" phase comparable to late antiquity, and his controversial ideas spark debate over the meaning of historiography.

Philosophy and Technology

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Author: Carl Mitcham,Robert Mackey

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0029214300

Category: Philosophy

Page: 403

View: 1191

Empire and Communications

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Author: Harold A. Innis

Publisher: Dundurn

ISBN: 1550029088

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 288

View: 2864

It’s been said that without Harold A. Innis there could have been no Marshall McLuhan. Empire and Communications is one of Innis’s most important contributions to the debate about how media influence the development of consciousness and societies. In this seminal text, he traces humanity’s movement from the oral tradition of preliterate cultures to the electronic media of recent times. Along the way, he presents his own influential concepts of oral communication, time and space bias, and monopolies of knowledge.

Ideas Have Consequences

Expanded Edition

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Author: Richard M. Weaver

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022609023X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 8780

Originally published in 1948, at the height of post–World War II optimism and confidence in collective security, Ideas Have Consequences uses “words hard as cannonballs” to present an unsparing diagnosis of the ills of the modern age. Widely read and debated at the time of its first publication,the book is now seen asone of the foundational texts of the modern conservative movement. In its pages, Richard M. Weaver argues that the decline of Western civilization resulted from the rising acceptance of relativism over absolute reality. In spite of increased knowledge, this retreat from the realist intellectual tradition has weakened the Western capacity to reason, with catastrophic consequences for social order and individual rights. But Weaver also offers a realistic remedy. These difficulties are the product not of necessity, but of intelligent choice. And, today, as decades ago, the remedy lies in the renewed acceptance of absolute reality and the recognition that ideas—like actions—have consequences. This expanded edition of the classic work contains a foreword by New Criterion editor Roger Kimball that offers insight into the rich intellectual and historical contexts of Weaver and his work and an afterword by Ted J. Smith III that relates the remarkable story of the book’s writing and publication.

A Culture of Improvement

Technology and the Western Millennium

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Author: Robert Friedel

Publisher: MIT Press (MA)

ISBN: 9780262514019

Category: History

Page: 588

View: 5987

How technological change in the West has been driven by the pursuit of improvement: ahistory of technology, from plows and printing presses to penicillin, the atomic bomb, and thecomputer.

Consuming Power

A Social History of American Energies

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Author: David E. Nye

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262261022

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 352

View: 485

How did the United States become the world's largest consumer of energy? David Nye shows that this is less a question about the development of technology than it is a question about the development of culture. In Consuming Power, Nye uses energy as a touchstone to examine the lives of ordinary people engaged in normal activities. He looks at how these activities changed as new energy systems were constructed, from colonial times to recent years. He also shows how, as Americans incorporated new machines and processes into their lives, they became ensnared in power systems that were not easily changed: they made choices about the conduct of their lives, and those choices accumulated to produce a consuming culture. Nye examines a sequence of large systems that acquired and then lost technological momentum over the course of American history, including water power, steam power, electricity, the internal-combustion engine, atomic power, and computerization. He shows how each system became part of a larger set of social constructions through its links to the home, the factory, and the city. The result is a social history of America as seen through the lens of energy consumption.