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Philosophical Foundations for a Critical Evaluation of the Social Impact of ICT

Philosophical Foundations for a Critical Evaluation of the Social Impact of ICT How do we critically evaluate the social impact of the information and communications technology (ICT) that, in the developed world at least, is central to both economy and society. Market-oriented, functionalist and instrumental views tend to dominate discourse on ICT and the purpose of this paper is to challenge such views by suggesting a critical neo-humanist alternative. Harvey's critical analysis of recent industrial society, Aristotle's concept of phronesis and Heidegger's tool analysis set the scene for the main argument of the paper based on Habermas’ theory of communicative action. Using an illustrative case vignette from the Irish community sector, the paper argues that this theory provides potentially valid philosophical and social theoretical guidelines for a critical interpretive evaluation of the social impact of ICT that focuses attention on normative (‘lifeworld’) as distinct from instrumental (‘system’) forms of rationality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Information Technology SAGE

Philosophical Foundations for a Critical Evaluation of the Social Impact of ICT

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References (34)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2002 Association for Information Technology Trust
ISSN
0268-3962
eISSN
1466-4437
DOI
10.1080/02683960210145968
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How do we critically evaluate the social impact of the information and communications technology (ICT) that, in the developed world at least, is central to both economy and society. Market-oriented, functionalist and instrumental views tend to dominate discourse on ICT and the purpose of this paper is to challenge such views by suggesting a critical neo-humanist alternative. Harvey's critical analysis of recent industrial society, Aristotle's concept of phronesis and Heidegger's tool analysis set the scene for the main argument of the paper based on Habermas’ theory of communicative action. Using an illustrative case vignette from the Irish community sector, the paper argues that this theory provides potentially valid philosophical and social theoretical guidelines for a critical interpretive evaluation of the social impact of ICT that focuses attention on normative (‘lifeworld’) as distinct from instrumental (‘system’) forms of rationality.

Journal

Journal of Information TechnologySAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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