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Technophilia, neo-Luddism, eDependency and the judgement of Thamus

journal contribution
posted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Darryl Coulthard, Susan Keller
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reflect on society's relationship with technology and particularly our increasing dependence on electronic technology – so-called eDependency. The paper argues that technology is not neutral and we must engage with the moral issues that arise from our relationship with it.

Design/methodology/approach –
Society's relationship with technology is examined through the lens of Socrates' consideration of the technology of writing. It identifies “technophilia” as a major theme in society and “neo-Luddism” as the Socrates-like examination of the benefits of technology.

Findings – While rejecting both technology determinism and technology presentism the paper argues technology is not neutral and does afford social change within a particular social ecology. The authors suggest that ultimately the use of all technology, including the technology underpinning eDependency, leads to important moral questions which deserve considered debate. The paper concludes by arguing that the Information Systems (IS) discipline should take the mantle of King Thamus and that the study of these issues should become a key concern for the discipline.

Originality/value – In an age of technophilia, this paper calls considered debate on the moral issues that arise from our relationship with technology, how it is appropriated, to whose benefit, and how we change it and will be changed by it.

History

Journal

Journal of information, communication and ethics in society

Volume

10

Issue

4

Pagination

262 - 272

Publisher

Emerald

Location

Bingley, England

ISSN

1477-996X

eISSN

1758-8871

Language

eng

Notes

Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited