INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW JOURNAL
After twenty years, the Society for Philosophy & Technology is ready for new adventures. Hence this electronic quarterly journal.
The beginnings of SPT were foreshadowed in 1975 and 1977 with two conferences at the University of Delaware. At the second, a decision was made to attempt to form a society of philosophers interested in studying the phenomena associated with (mostly modern) technology. In 1978, the first society publication appeared, an annual with the optimistic title, Research in Philosophy & Technology volume 1 (JAI Press). In 1981, a series of international conferences was initiated in Bad Homburg, (then) West Germany, with subsequent conferences every other year on alternating sides of the Atlantic Ocean. At the third conference, in Twente, The Netherlands, the decision was made to change publishers in hopes of reaching a broader audience, and a new book series, Philosophy and Technology, was begun with Kluwer Academic Publishers. RPT published regular volumes and two supplements--and is still thriving today, under other auspices. P&T , the Kluwer series, included eleven volumes before it was discontinued in 1994.
Presidents of the Society have included Carl Mitcham, Alex Michalos, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Marx Wartofsky, Langdon Winner, Joseph Pitt, and Jose Sanmartin--with an equally distinguished group of board members. The current board includes Andrew Feenberg, Eric Higgs, Rachelle Hollander, Imre Hronszky, and Helen Nissenbaum.
The Society for Philosophy and Technology Quarterly Electronic Journal will attempt to maintain the high standards of the two book series that preceded it. All articles are reviewed by at least two referees. When, as with the first number in this series, papers have been refereed once for a Society conference, they are refereed a second time for publication in the journal.
Though papers are thus, as with other journals, rigorously refereed, there may be one aspect of the Society's publications that differs from at least some professional journals. SPT has no party line or narrow focus; papers, from the beginning, have been welcomed from any and all philosophical perspectives; the only unifying factor is a focus on technology, particular technologies, modern or traditional, or social problems associated with technology in any era--though most of our authors concentrate on the modern world. Some papers criticize our contemporary technological culture in global terms; others critique particular technologies; but just as many analyze technological phenomena with no a priori critical or negative bias. All that the editorial board insists upon is rigorous philosophical analysis, from whatever philosophical perspective the author chooses. In addition, contributions are welcome from authors who are not identified as academic philosophers--from social scientists, engineers, managers of scientific or technological organizations or institutions, for example--as long as their work meets the standards of some philosophical perspective.
We hope that this new initiative will appeal to a larger audience than our previous book series, and we look forward to contributions from as wide an array of authors as possible.
One other note: A hard copy of any article, issue number, or entire annual volume is available from the general editor, Paul T. Durbin, at the Philosophy Department, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716. As indicated in the copyright notice, academic libraries are free to download the series, at no cost, and make it available to their users either in electronic or in hardcopy format.
Copyright 1996, by the Society for Philosophy and Technology.
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