Technological Mediation and Power: Postphenomenology, Critical Theory, and Autonomist Marxism

M. Bantwal Rao*, J.P. Jongerden, P.C. Lemmens, G.T.P. Ruivenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the power of technological mediation from the point of view of autonomist Marxism (Hardt, Negri, Virno, Berardi, Lazzarrato). The first part of the article discusses the theories developed on technological mediation in postphenomenology (Ihde, Verbeek) and critical theory of technology (Feenberg) with regard to their respective power perspectives and ways of coping with relations of power embedded in technical artifacts and systems. Rather than focusing on the clashes between the hermeneutic postphenomenological approach and the dialectics of critical theory, it is argued that in both the category of resistance amidst power-relations is at least similar in one regard: resistance to the power of technology is conceptualized as a reactive force. The second part of the article reads technological mediation through the lens of the antagonistic power-perspective on class struggle developed in autonomist Marxism. The outline of a provisional autonomist philosophy of technology is developed using Foucauldian dispositifs of biopower in contrast to the hermeneutic and dialectical approach. It is thus argued that resistance should here be understood in terms of practice that subverts the technically mediated circuit of production itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-474
JournalPhilosophy & Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Autonomist Marxism
  • Critical theory of technology
  • Foucault
  • Postphenomenology
  • Technological mediation


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