RESPONSE TO CARL MITCHAM

In: Philosophia Reformata
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I feel honored to be asked to respond to the text of Carl Mitcham’s Van Riessen lecture. Although philosophy of technology is not my field, there is much to make this task attractive, as Hendrik Van Riessen’s personality and philosophy have been formative influences on my own development, and this Lecture contains so much that is stimulating (as well as debatable). The setting in which Mitcham situates Van Riessen’s contribution seems to be the right one. Van Riessen’s seriousness and analytic depth are praised. Mitcham is also very positive about his focus on the internal structure of technology (techniek),1 and is convinced of the fruitfulness of this approach. He not only holds that it deserves greater attention than it has received, but also that it is still relevant today, comparing favourably with the now prevalent ‘social constructionist reflection on science and technology’.

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