Ontologies for Developing Things is a work of unflagging intelligence and intellectual energy, spilling over with new ideas, surprising angles, sharp perceptions and interesting juxtapositions, and written with correspondingly attractive punch and force. Readers interested in information technologies, contemporary developments in social studies of science, and related cultural and political theory will find the book immensely engaging and endlessly useful. - Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Duke University and Brown University [author of Scandalous Knowledge: Science Truth and the Human and/or Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion]
The aim of this book is to raise current social, political, and moral issues in social theory by taking a critical stance towards historical, global, and educational themes in the context of culture, politics, and technology. All the contributors have written their texts in the spirit of critical Zeitgeist analysis, which, they believe, is a highly needed genre in social theory. Thus the focus of the book is critical Zeitgeist analysis, and its potential in addressing various social maladies of the present era. Methodologically, critical Zeitgeist analysis is argued to be of value in demonstrating how to both utilize and expand the possibilities of writing normative social theory. The key idea of critical Zeitgeist analysis is to reflect critically on the state of the present world. In this task it entwines analytical, political and moral languages, as well as the languages of critique and hope. In critical Zeitgeist analysis it is not only possible but also necessary to ask who we are, and what states of affairs prevail in our tragic times. The themes of the book are global and it can be used as a course book in several fields of social science like cultural studies, education and political science, as well as in sociology.