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Andrew Feenberg and the Distorted Democratization of Technology: Covid-19 and the Case of Hydroxychloroquine

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tina Sikka


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© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.This chapter examines the contentious Covid therapeutic, hydroxychloroquine, using Andrew Feenberg’s theory of technological democratization. I explore whether the use of this experimental medicine is suitable, fit for, or reflective of a process of technological democratization in a manner that is similar to that of HIV/AIDS medicines and trials. In answering this, I draw on Feenberg‘s technological democratization thesis and extend his conception of care, bodily integrity, and communication in medicine using a reconstructed concept of care as expressed by feminist ethics. My central argument is that technological democratization of Covid-19 treatments and the underlying science has been made extremely difficult because hydroxychloroquine has become emblematic of polarized and polarizing political battles. In doing so, I articulate a model of “distorted technological democratization” to explain this phenomenon.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sikka T

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Philosophy of Engineering and Technology

Year: 2022

Volume: 41

Pages: 65-87

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-07877-4_4

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783031078767