CfP – ‘Technology over Time: Maintenance & Philosophy of Technology’

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New call for papers for a special Issue of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. Submission Deadline: 1 October 2023.

Technology Over Time: Philosophical Perspectives on Maintenance
Call for papers for a special Issue of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology (Expected Volume 29 Issue 1, 2025)
Guest Editor: Mark Thomas Young (University of Vienna)
Submission Deadline: October 1st 2023

What happens to technologies after they are produced or constructed? Until recently, questions concerning how technologies are maintained over time were often neglected by scholarship on technology. Yet there is now an increasing awareness that the traditional focus in a variety of disciplines on processes of invention and innovation has hindered our understanding of the practices of maintenance and repair which are often necessary for the persistence of technologies through time. Recently, a range of disciplines such as history of technology, sociology, STS, anthropology and geography have begun addressing this lack by turning their attention to maintenance as an object of study. As a result, there is now a growing body of empirical and historical literature on maintenance which explores the richness and diversity of this form of technical practice. Yet insofar as this body of work has the potential to challenge dominant assumptions about the nature of technology and technical practices, it also has philosophical relevance, something which is not lost on scholars of maintenance and repair studies themselves, who frequently draw upon philosophical concepts and theories in order to articulate their claims.
This special issue of Techné aims to bring such considerations into the spotlight, by providing an avenue for philosophical reflection on the nature and significance of maintenance practices. The editor invites contributions not only from philosophers interested in exploring the philosophical consequences and significance of maintenance, but also scholars working within maintenance and repair studies who are interested in engaging in reflection on the philosophical aspects of their work. Potential topics may include (but are not limited to);

  • New perspectives on the temporality of artifacts
  • The nature of expertise
  • Phenomenological perspectives on maintenance
  • Critical and feminist perspectives on labor (i.e., invisible labor)
  • The Political nature of artifacts
  • Resilience and socio-technical systems
  • Technology and process philosophy
  • Sustainability, Circular Economy and Environmental Philosophy
  • Situating maintenance among philosophical theories of making and use
  • The meaning or nature of maintenance as a unitary or divided form of technical practice

Special guest editor Mark Thomas Young welcomes prospective authors to contact him prior to submission if they have questions or ideas to share at [email protected].

Papers are expected to typically range between 6000 and 8000 words (including notes and references). Papers will be anonymously reviewed and should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words. Contributions must be submitted online through the journal’s ScholarOne manuscript submission site: no later than October 1st, 2023. The name of the special issue: ‘Technology Over Time: Philosophical Perspectives on Maintenance’ should be included in the cover letter upon submission. For detailed instructions on how to prepare papers for submission please consult Techné’s submission guidelines at