PP 10-1 BR Dusek 138-139

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Book Reviews like ‚Philosophy and Care for the Soul‛, ‚…Care for the Psyche‛, ‚Mythobiography as a Therapy‛, and ‚’Longing-Law’ and Its Pathologies‛; the last explained as ‚a cultural configuration that deifies desire and turns it into a ‘law’‛ (p.69), where the loss of the term ‚sacrifice‛ is explained and criticised. All of it bears the normal mark of theoretical/philosophical reflection, and does not draw noticeably on the framework presented. He does not always explain his claims, but gives
  Book Reviews138 http://www.practical-philosophy.org.uk   like ‚Philosophy and Care for the Soul‛, ‚…Care for the Psyche‛,‚Mythobiography as a Therapy‛, and ‚’Longing - Law’ and Its Pathologies‛; thelast explained as ‚a cultural configuration that deifies desire and tur ns it into a ‘law’‛ (p.69), where the loss of the term ‚sacrifice‛ is explained and criticised. All of it bears the normal mark of theoretical/philosophical reflection, and does notdraw noticeably on the framework presented. He does not always explain his claims, but gives long stretches of text with a ‚moreover‛ or a ‚this‛, where it issometimes unclear what ‚this‛ refers to. Although it is clear that a consistent line of thought is followed, and that at the bottom there lies a harsh critique ofcontemporary society and Western civilisation, this style of writing makes thereader work hard.I am left disappointed because of the good intentions in the framework,which after all is clearly stated in the introductory parts of the book, and wondering if ‚universally positive‛ philosophical knowledge could not have been described just as precisely, and philosophy renewed just as positively, byconcentrating more on the (philosophical) details of (philosophical) daily life. Helle Nyvold University of Bergen, NorwayHelle.Nyvold@fof.uib.no Val Dusek Philosophy of Technology: an Introduction Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, pp. v + 244ISBN 1-4051-1163-1 (pb), $32.95, £18.99 This ambitious book attempts to present an overview of a relatively young andamorphous sub-discipline, that is, the  philosophy of technology . It is written andstructured in the manner of a standard textbook — newly-introduced names andterms appear in boldface, tangential topics are discussed in special ‘boxed’  passages, and each chapter concludes with a list of study questions . Dusek isobviously at pains to write with maximum clarity for the sake of undergraduateswho may be required to read his book.This is perhaps the first course-book to be written on the philosophy oftechnology, leaving Dusek a free hand to determine the scope and internal logic ofhis topic. He rises to the challenge in a spirit of breathtaking disciplinaryexpansionism, offering reasoned justifications for the wide diversity of issuesincluded in his book. Philosophy of science must be outlined, since technology isoften dependent on science. Plato, Bacon, and others are mentioned as forerunnersof technocratic social and political thought. Artificial intelligence is a kind oftechnology and it has been the subject of much contemporary philosophicaldebate that is ripe for the picking. Environmentalists have their qualms abouttechnology, so that environmental ethics can also be gobbled up by this new field.  Book Reviews http://www.practical-philosophy.org.uk 139 The ‘rationality debates’ sparked by Evans -Pritchard's anthropological study ofAzande magic touched upon the question of the universality of instrumentalreason, which is arguably identifiable with technological reason, adding anothertwelve pages to the book. Heidegger's discussion of tools, Hannah Arendt'swork/labour distinction, feminist views on technology, and anti-technologicalideologies are also among the topics covered.Dusek is to be commended for writing in an informed and lucid mannerabout such a wide variety of issues and authors. He moves with apparent easefrom ancients to moderns, from analytic philosophy to Continental, fromphenomenology to neural connectionism, from the history of Chinese science tosocial constructionism. Certain themes, such as the search for a definition oftechnology, do reappear as leitmotifs throughout the book. However, Dusek doesnot really work out a grand logical map of issues in the philosophy of technologyof the kind one would expect from an introduction to a better established (or lesswide-ranging) area in philosophy. What he does give us is a wide overview ofphilosophical (broadly understood) discussions of technology (broadlyunderstood) in all their varieties. Comprehensiveness has its price in depth; only avolume of monstrous proportions could do justice to such a wide range of topics.Occasionally, but only occasionally, Dusek's quest for comprehensiveness lapsesinto something more resembling a bibliographical essay than an introductory text.Despite these drawbacks, his book seems to be the best place to start for anyonetrying to put together a course on the philosophy of technology, or simplyinterested in gaining an appreciation of the scope of this new field. Berel Dov Lerner Western Galilee College, Akko, Israel bdlerner@gmail.com Martin Heidegger The Essence of Truth (Originally published as Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, 1988, Vol 34 /Gesamtausgabe) Transl. Ted SadlerNew York: Continuum, 2002, pp. 252ISBN: 0-826-45923-4 (hb), $99.95, £75.00ISBN: 0-826-47704-6 (pb), $23.95, £11.99 This is a treatise in two parts, based on lectures given by Heidegger in 1931 – 1934at the University of Freiburg, establishing the difference between truth asunhiddenness of beings, and truth as the correctness of propositions. It discusses Plato’s allegory of the cave and the Platonic eros, or love of truth, in fine detail. It attempts to define the essence of truth in a manner that produces a rigorous
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