Teknoloji Çağında Rasyonalite, Deneyim ve Bilgi Sorunlar & Eleştiriler

Kaygi (22):113-131 (2014)
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Özet Bu çalışmada modern endüstri toplumlarında teknolojinin, bireylerin ve bir bütün olarak toplumun rasyonalitesini nasıl etkilediği ve bunun da ötesinde nasıl belirlediği incelenecektir. Bu inceleme Herbert Marcuse’nin Tek Boyutlu İnsan adlı eserinde ortaya koyduğu teknolojiye ilişkin görüşleri üzerinden yapılacaktır. Rasyonalite, bilgi ve deneyim arasındaki ilişki teknoloji üzerinden irdelenecek ve daha sonra Marcuse’nin ‘teknolojik rasyonalite’ kavramı Claus Offe’nin eleştirileri bağlamında çözümlenecektir. Son olarak Marcuse’nin teknoloji eleştirisi günümüzde ortaya çıkan toplumsal pratiklerle ele alınarak değerlendirilecektir. Anahtar Terimler Teknoloji, Bilgi, Eleştiri, Pratik, Kapitalist Toplum, Politika, Rasyonalite. Rationality, Experience and Knowledge in the Age of Technology: Problems & Criticisms Abstract The question of how human potential is imprisoned in contemporary capitalism is one of the central topics of the analysis on social reality by every social theory which claims to be critical. This question which can be concretized as a systematic occupation with the cultural-technical forms which caused by contemporary capitalism and as an analysis of new types of social subjectivity which emerge as a result of these forms, essentially includes the effort to specify at what level and by using what kind of tools the current system grabs the individual by the throat. Frankfurt School tradition as one of the foremost traditions which conducts such an investigation, discusses the analysis of society over fragility of the bourgeois individual. According to Frankfurt School, the individual in contemporary capitalism is extorted from bourgeois ideals and is out of breath as a result of blockade of overgrown structures in social context in which s/he lives. In other words, the bourgeois individual has been erased. In the late capitalist society where personal histories are melted away, technological progress is one of the processes that led to the deletion of the individual. The clearest expression of this emphasis finds correspondence in the introduction of Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man. Marcuse proposes two opposite theses in this work which he examines advanced industrial societies: 1) Advanced industrial society have a structure that it can control the qualitative changes in predictable future, 2) However, trends and forces which can reverse this situation (which can break this limitation and destroy capitalist society) also exist. First one claims that relations of domination in the social structures are sustainable in the future; and the other thesis emphasizes that the opportunity of emancipation of people by getting free of these power relations is still possible. However, Marcuse does not dwell on too much on the latter (which is the claim about possibility of powers and trends that can change the current situation). Moreover it could be argued that his arguments relating to technological rationality and one-dimensionality draws us into the impossibility of attaining any moment of a positive social transformation. The book is dominated by an atmosphere of immense feeling of being encircled and hopelessness, thus it follows from the work of Marcuse that in the system that we live in it is even impossible to breathe freely. Although in follow-up studies after the One Dimensional Man (especially in writings in which vitality of 68 movement and the axis of New Left), it can be observed that there is an attempt to convert despair into hope, it is clear that Marcuse’s designations regarding technological life mechanisms should be discussed again given the technological advancements of our times. Within this context, in the study, how the technology affects and furthermore determines the individuals and society as a whole in the modern industrial societies has been investigated. This investigation has been carried out through Herbert Marcuse's views on technology which are presented in his work One-Dimensional Man. The relationship between rationality, knowledge and experience has been examined on the basis of technology, and then Marcuse's concept of ‘technological rationality’ has been analysed in the context of Claus Offe's criticisms. Finally, Marcuse's critique of technology has been assessed by considering the emerging social practices in this day and time. Herbert Marcuse refers to the rationality which is created by technology and is directly based on submissive efficiency, as ‘technological rationality’. Thinker argues that what is considered to be rational in a society is subject to change with technological developments, and social rationality is directly connected to the technological advancements. There are three different projections of technological rationality approach which are in turn ontological, epistemological and ethicalpolitical approaches. Claus Offe claims that it is possible to group these different dimensions under three theses. According to the first one; scientific rationality has become the organizational principle of domination. According to Offe, in his second thesis Marcuse mentions the emergence of technology sui generis i.e. as a distinctive autonomous technological rationality. And the third thesis proceeds on the line of the argument that socialist societies are under the impact of technological rationality as well as capitalist societies. According to Offe, even though these three theses are consistent with each other, Marcuse has been violated the most fundamental principle of the Critical Theory by not offering any possibility of social transformation which are aimed at the problems of extensive manipulation and pacified existence that brought about by technological rationality. Hence although Marcuse's work is of utmost importance with regard to his analysis and the issues that he has covered, it would not be wrong to say that a problematic argument from the point of the tradition of Critical Theory has been proposed. The main reason for this is the argument which asserts that the technology turned into a mechanism of domination which is almost irreversible and unchangeable. Therefore, such mechanism does not offer any resistance point where human can take a breath. As a result of this, emancipation which is the main political purpose of the Critical Theory has been invalidated. What could be the problems which are created by the negative situation that results from Marcuse's thesis on technology? For instance, how could the basis for the existence of opposing movements which are organized over the internet or the foundations of anti-capitalist radical critique be explained on the axis of Marcuse’s thesis? There is a fundamental problem that has to be solved: if we declare only the validity of oppressive, central and ideological functions of technological devices, then the idea which is referred by authoritarian governments that current opposing movements or rebel groups organized over internet might be organized from a centre which is defined as imperialist power or external power becomes an affirmable argument. In other words, does Marcuse's technological determinist approach serves to legitimize the discourses such as "foreign powers or imperialist enemies," and so on which authoritarian powers frequently resort to. Is it possible to think of another alternative with regard to the problems produced by this rationality apart from the negative comments that revealed by the concept of technological rationality. From what frameworks this question can be answered In the conclusion of the study, answers to these questions have been searched. Keywords: Technology, Knowledge, Criticism, Practice, Capitalist Society, Politics, Rationality.

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Mete Han Arıtürk
Dokuz Eylul University (Alumnus)


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