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The Soft Megamachine: Lewis Mumford's Metaphor of Technological Society and Implications for (participatory) Technology Assessment


Abstract This dissertation explores the megamachine, a prominent metaphor in American humanist and philosopher of technology, Lewis Mumford's Myth of the Machine series. The term refers critically to dynamic, regimented human capacities that drive scientific and technical innovation in society. Mumford's view of the nature of collectives focuses on qualities and patterns that emerge from the behavior of groups, societies, systems, and ecologies. It is my aim to reenergize key concepts about collective capacities drawn from Lewis Mumford's critique of historical and modern sociotechnical arrangements. I investigate the possibility of accessing those capacities through improved design for Technology Assessment (TA), formal practices that e... (more)
Created Date 2014
Contributor Gano, Gretchen Lynn (Author) / Guston, David (Advisor) / Miller, Clark (Advisor) / Selin, Cynthia (Committee member) / Wetmore, Jameson (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Subject Social structure / Public policy / Philosophy of science / crowds / Lewis Mumford / megamachine / science and technology studies / sociotechnical / technology assessment
Type Doctoral Dissertation
Extent 266 pages
Language English
Copyright
Reuse Permissions All Rights Reserved
Note Doctoral Dissertation Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology 2014
Collaborating Institutions Graduate College / ASU Library
Additional Formats MODS / OAI Dublin Core / RIS


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Description Dissertation/Thesis