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By David Lovekin

French philosopher Jacques Ellul's know-how refers not just to machines and their utilization, but in addition to the mentalities for which it has develop into a need. expertise is proven as a will to energy, an obsession with order, and a force towards potency that establishes its personal particular symbology and language.

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Extra resources for Technique, discourse, and consciousness: an introduction to the philosophy of Jacques Ellul

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Ellul's name is usually mentioned as representative of those thinkers hostile to technology. As such a thinker he is villified or praised, depending on whether the writer values or deprecates technology's incursions in human history. Ellul's readers, as I will show, are often not objective readers. Typically, Ellul is judged to be a conservative Christian opposed to progress; a pessimist who overgeneralizes technology's power and presence in the twentieth century; an insightful critic of the effects of media, propaganda, bureaucracy, and state power; a committed voice for the preservation of human freedom and choice against the dehumanizing forces in the modern age.

It is Ellul's hope that once recognized as a form of consciousness and desire, technical necessity might be weakened. The commonplace that technique is neutral while desire is strong only strengthens technique's hold. It is the lie of technical consciousness's neutrality that maintains the specific form of our addiction to, and dependency on, technique. It is unclear what Florman understands by "taste" in the above quote. How would it be separate from an economic/social milieu? Ellul does not blame technology for current taste, although he does insist that taste is no a priori and that it has to be understood in relation to technique.

The image is part and parcel of what most mean by reality. It stands forth in its homogeneity and its sameness, giving birth, as Ellul notes, to the logical principles of noncontradiction and identity. 19 The word provides an opening to another dimension. The word is not private but evokes paradox, discussion, and debate. An idea as a word must be spoken or written, but once embodied, it requires controversy and contradiction. The word, as distinct from the that-which-is-before-one as an image, is a scene that surrounds, a place in time and duration, which shifts like the Heraclitean flux.

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