"Technology and Human Values," by Melvin Kranzberg

1. In what ways have human beings depended on technology?

2. What has the term "humanistic" come to mean? What is the relation between this new "humanism" and "rationality"?

3. Can humanistic values be separated from technology?

4. How have the humanists dealt with the rapid pace of technological change? What does the term "intellectual Luddites" mean?

5. What does he mean when he says that certain technologies have taken the burden from human minds?

6. What has been the foremost humanistic [in the traditional good sense of humanistic] value in Western Civilization? How long has this value been upheld historically?

7. What did industrialization do to the working individual? In what way did it elevate his dignity and at the same time alienate him from the things he made?

8. In what sense is automation a good thing?

9. What has the goal of efficiency done to the worth of the individual? [How does this view of efficiency differ from that of Ellul?] [But what does the phrase "proper use of the individual human being" import with respect to Ellul's or Heidegger's view?

10. How would he answer the charge that technology makes human beings work together in a "collective" way?

11. How does Mumford contrast "authoritarian technics" with "democratic technics"? What, according to Kranzberg, is wrong with this either-or dichotomy?

12. How has technology freed human beings from "want"?

13. How has technology contributed to democracy? What was the impact of technology on slavery?

14. How has democracy improved race relations and ended caste systems?

15. How has technology reduced the gap between rich and poor?

16. How would he answer the humanists' charge that technology has created ugliness and reduced artistic creativity?

17. What is the importance of leisure for the enjoyment of esthetics activities? What had Aristotle said in this regard?

18. How has technology created leisure-time? [Is it the fault of technology that human beings do not always use leisure-time for esthetics activities?]

19. What other contributions has technology made in the area of increasing possibilities for enjoying esthetics activities?

20. In what sense does technology itself have esthetics elements?

21. How have today's poets let us down? How does this differ from some of the poetry in the nineteenth century?

22. What are some examples of esthetics design in technology? How is this related to the philosophy of Plato?

23. Who will interpret modern society, if not the poets?

24. How has technology helped to carry out ethical values?

25. What new values are called for, and what role should technologists play in working these out?

26. How have technologists fared in trying to deal with values? How have humanists fared in trying to understand the demands of a technological society?

27. Is it really a question of whether man can master technology? Explain.



 Return to Technology and Culture Course Calendar