Albert Borgmann

Albert Borgmann (born 1937) is an American philosopher, specializing in the philosophy of technology. He was born in Freiburg, Germany, and is a professor of philosophy at the University of Montana. His published books include Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life, Crossing the Postmodern Divide, and Holding onto Reality. Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life (1984) contributed to the emerging philosophical discussions of issues surrounding modern technology. Following a Heideggerian viewpoint, Borgmann introduced the notion of the device paradigm to explain what constitutes technology's essence loosely based on Heidegger's notion of Gestell (enframing). The book, published at the height of the Cold War, contrasts technology along the axis of liberal democratic ideals versus Marxist lines of thought. For Borgmann technology is something to be overcome and religion, especially some form of Roman Catholism, is to be humanity's saving grace. Crossing the Postmodern Divide (1992) is a techno-religious book characterized in terms of hyperreality and hyperactivity. Hyperactivity is described as a pathological syndrome of the child and workaholic. Borgmann extends hyperactivity to society as a whole, and defines it as "a state of mobilization where the richness and variety of social and cultural pursuits, and the natural pace of daily life, have been suspended to serve a higher, urgent cause."