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The spectre of technology has always haunted the Western imagination. The Greeks conceived of "techne" as a set of rational principles leading to the production of objects. Heidegger warned of technological imperialism and made a philosophic plea for "clean" and "responsible" machines directed by human needs and contemporary discourses that either celebrate or are wary of the ways and experiences of technocultures that have penetrated every facet of human life. Grounded on the assumption that the relationship between the arts and the sciences is dictated by technology, the essays in "Rethinking technologies" explore trends in contemporary thought that have been changing our awareness of science, technology, and the arts. The contributors make crucial and interrelated arguments on such topics as the effect of televised representation and technology on community and activity, with the media seemingly representing the origin and end of history; Hollywood's fabrications of history as it remaps the collective unconscious and produces strategies that define the imagination; and ways in which the technology of visibility transforms fantasy into everyday reality. "Rethinking Technologies" unites philosophical and ideological meditations of continental thought and cybernetic theory within the Anglo-American context, assembles recent and fresh work of leading theoreticians of culture and the arts, and investigates how technology affects contemporary life. The Miami Theory Collective is based in the Department of French and Italian at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, but includes members from other areas of knowledge. The Collective sponsors sustained and focused dialogue on issues it considers important to contemporary discourse. For this volume on technology the Collective includes Verena Conley, Marie-Claire Vallois, and Stephen Nimis.
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Verena Andermatt Conley is a visiting professor of comparative literature at Harvard University.
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