The Public Thing: On the Idea of a Politics of Artefacts

Mark Coeckelbergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

2 Citations (Scopus)


Is there a politics of artifacts, and if so, what does it mean? Defining the issue as a problem about the relation between the human and the non-human, I argue that our common philosophical concepts bar us from an adequate understanding of this problem. Using the work of Hannah Arendt and Bruno Latour, I explore an escape route that involves a radical redefinition of the social. But the cost of this solution is high: we would lose the metaphysical foundation for our belief in the absolute value and dignity of humans. We should pay that prize only if we gain a better understanding of what we are doing and what we want to do together – with things.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
JournalTechné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-76111
  • Politics of artifacts
  • Non-humans
  • The social
  • Arendt
  • Latour


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