Blogging Borgmann: TCCL Chapter 23, “Focal Things and Practices” and the Character of Contemporary Life (TCCL) by Albert Borgmann. The chapter’s meditation on things and practices, with its thoughtfully selected and well-developed examples, appeals to those who might not know Borgmann’s . This article considers the question of technology and the good life. It argues for a strong thematic connection between Albert Borgmann’s thought and Japanese.

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In pre-technological societies, zlbert were often done so with some mythic purpose or backstory, showing how this particular practice enacts something we all know or desire to be true cosmically, for example as in the Eucharist, a practice established to commemorate not just a specific event but the cosmic reality that event signified: And as Alisdair MacIntyre says, a practice always contains the notion of the goods it obtains, so the technological split between means and ends is healed—the focal practice and focal good cannot be disentangled as with a machine and its product.

The chapter’s meditation on things and practices, with its thoughtfully selected and well-developed examples, appeals to bogrmann who might not know Borgmann’s work firsthand and deepens and clarifies, with its subtle distinctions, any sophisticated reader’s understanding of Borgmann’s account of this matter. Practices remind us that focal goods, far from being delivered automatically whenever we engage in the practice, are hard-won, and all the more satisfying for remaining in the practice despite difficulty or long seasons without apparent advancement.

Jonathan is a Director of Open Source at Pracitces Labsleading a team of open source developers to improve the web and mobile testing ecosystem. Melville, Thoreau, Pirsig, and Maclean are all helpful. In outdoor running, mind and body are intimate with the world.

Technology’s relationship with democracy is at best an uneasy one, especially given Borgmann’s claim that our modern devices are not mere value-neutral instruments. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Veritas Liberabit: Focal Things and Practices

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. The author gives us the blueprint, but we must supply the materials and situate the structure.


So what is it all about? Consider, for instance, the burden of preparing a meal and getting everyone to show up at the table and sit down.

Jonathan has master’s degrees in philosophy and linguistics, from Stanford and Oxford respectively. Our entertainment is now available from the comfort of our couches or desk chairs, at will, twenty-four hours a day. But they cannot substitute for one another, and if one expands, the other must shrink. It explains the intimate relationship between people, things and technological devices, defining most economic relations and also shapes social and moral relations in general.

Classical, Early, and Medieval Plays and Playwrights: Borgmann is concerned that human work today is often unfulfilling and our leisure is not ennobling, and that at a deep level, the culture knows this and is profoundly uneasy.

Albert Borgmann, a philosopher at the University of Montana and author of several books on the effects of electronic media on society, is an advocate of deeper discernment before embracing the latest device from the Gates-Jobs industrial juggernaut. Literacy, while in on ongoing struggle with its more titillating competitors of the digital realm, remains an important means of recollection, silence and even wisdom.

Borgmann examines two in the course of the chapter: Technological information is information as reality and leads to decreased human engagement with fundamental aspects of reality. A Proposal for Church in Society. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Technology and the Good Life? It could even be called religious, or sacred and many special traditional meals have that character explicitly. Stories are now available from the comfort of our couches, at will and at any time. Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

Focal Things and Focal Practices

Borgann answer is that literacy on the part of the reader generates the wealth of information a viewer receives without charge. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: In the great meal, that is only part of the structure, however; there is flcal a moment of reflection or prayera sequence of courses, memorable conversation, all clothed with the desire to respect one another and the event via the discipline of table manners.


Using or not using the interstate highway system is not a thins of choice anymore for most of us, vorgmann neither are the moral consequences of long commutes and the neglect of family, neighborhood, and inner city. In sum, focal practices are essential to counteract the pattern of technology and to guard focal things from extinction.

Albert Borgmann The German-American philosopher Albert Borgmann is professor at the University of Montana and author of several books on the effects of electronic media on the human person. There are human practices, however, that counter the trend of virtualizing life.

Device paradigm – Wikipedia

Wine becomes a device when it employs technology and machinery not merely to produce albbert but obtain specific qualities such as grapey, smooth, light, and fruity flavors or clean and clear appearance. Civil War American History: Don’t have an account? The initial investment of effort — the “getting into” a book, acquiring the materials for the tree fort — borgmnn often a deterrent, yet that extra exertion to organize and enter into such activities is proportionate to the payoff.

This page was last edited on 8 Octoberat This convenience is a good example of how device has largely displaced other human activities. So, what is a focal thing or practice?

Focal things and practices

Everyone can run or make thihgs meal from scratch. Retrieved from ” https: Skip to content Advertisements. It contrasts with the consolation and vitality that generally result from focal practices. Literacy is a many-storied skill, rising from word-recognition via parsing to comprehension.

He cited that the focal practicrs in winemaking involves the implements used to produce wine. The paper map, on the other hand, provide a conduit to the experience of hiking and walking through the landscape, and is part of cultural information.