University of Twente Student Theses


Ascetic technologies and autonomy - Enhancing autonomy regarding consumption practices

Burg, J.R. van der (2012) Ascetic technologies and autonomy - Enhancing autonomy regarding consumption practices.

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Abstract:With regard to the consumption of commodities, our society can be considered a restless society; fulfilling consumer desires seems to be an endless process. Individuals are constantly encouraged and seduced to fulfill their consumer desires and, furthermore, it is difficult to control certain desires. We may raise the question whether human beings in such a restless society act autonomously as consumers. In many discussions concerning the relationship between consumption and autonomy, consumers are either portrayed as completely autonomous (in control of their desires) or non-autonomous (enslaved by their desires). I will not adopt one of these dichotomous positions. Instead, I will argue that consumers are endowed with a certain level of autonomy; their autonomy can be more or less developed. In this presentation, I will contemplate the question how autonomy regarding consumption practices can be enhanced. Furthermore, I will reflect on the question how technologies, which I will refer to as ‘ascetic technologies’, can be employed in order to support this enhancement.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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