The Practice of Technology

Exploring Technology, Ecophilosophy, and Spiritual Disciplines for Vital Links

By Alan Drengson

Subjects: Environmental Theory
Paperback : 9780791426708, 218 pages, October 1995
Hardcover : 9780791426692, 218 pages, October 1995

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Preface: Backgrounds of This Book

Prologue: The Interconnected Nature of the Problems

Part I. Historical and Philosophical Overview of Technology Practices

1. Three Stories About Technology Practices

2. Definitions and Examples of Technology Practice

3. Approaches to the Philosophy of Technology

4. States of Technology Practice in the West

5. Technological Imperative

6. A Spectrum of Attitudes Toward Technological Development

7. Major Characteristics of the Age of Technology

Part II. A Vision of Technology Practice as an Ecologically Wise, Spiritual Discipline

8. Technological Limits and Forms of Innovation

9. Art, Imagination, and Sacredness in Technological Society

10. A Redefinition of Progress in the Practice of Technology

11. Ecosophic Technology Practices and the Art of Appropriate Design

12. Integrated Studies in Technology Practice and Mastery of Appropriate Design

Epilogue: Technology Practices, the Age of Ecosophy, and Reflections on the Way



Asks why current practices of technology negatively impact humans and the earth and how we can gain a holistic understanding so technology practices can be changed to support the environment.


The Practice of Technology explores the narrative themes of modern industrial technology that reveal the underlying agenda of modern culture, which is to redesign the human and natural worlds to conform to the monoculture models of Western society that are embedded in industrial paradigms and practices. The author argues that ecological and social responsibility should be built into the design of new technology practices based on ecosophy (ecological wisdom) that enable us to harmonize with our specific place and ecological context. Root metaphors and mythologies of the West are examined so as to transcend the modern-postmodernist debate that devalues human life and the natural world. Drengson explains how our current problems, such as the environmental crisis, violence, social injustice, dehumanization, and alienation cannot be diagnosed, let alone cured, without understanding the role of technological forces and activities in modern civilization.

Alan Drengson is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Victoria. His recent books include Beyond Environmental Crisis: From Technocrat to Planetary Person, and Doc Forest and Blue Mountain Ecostery: A Narrative on Creating Ecological Harmony in Daily Life. He has published three books of poetry and is a Nidan in Aikido, the Japanese Martial Art.


"This is the first comprehensive treatment I have read that addresses the connections between technology, ecologically-centered philosophy, and the wisdom of spiritual disciplines. This broader treatment of technology is much needed, and the author's understanding of the connections (and what happens when technology evolves in isolation from these other dimensions of community life) is clearly articulated. It is clear from the outset that the author is writing from a deep base of knowledge. The book makes a significant contribution to the literature on technology. It also makes a genuine contribution to the field of philosophy by foregrounding technology as one of the most critically important areas of human inquiry." — C. A. Bowers, Portland State University