Towards a Conception of Sociotechnical Pathology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The concept of social pathology has long belonged to the toolkit of
social scientists, and several critical social philosophers have found it
indispensable for linking social ontology to social criticism. While different
conceptions of social pathology, as well as their applicability as diagnostic tools
for social wrongs, have been debated, a common area of neglect becomes
apparent when we consider pathological states of social wholes, such as societies,
as not only socially but technically constituted. As a first step towards filling this
gap, this paper introduces the concept of sociotechnical pathology. Drawing on
existing work on social pathology, it discusses four different general conceptions
of sociotechnical pathology as a diagnostic tool for analyzing socially and
technically constituted social wrongs. The paper contributes to philosophical
inquiry at the cross-section of critical social philosophy and philosophy of
technology by paving way for substantive conceptions of sociotechnical
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Conference on Technology Ethics
EditorsJani Koskinen, Minna M. Rantanen, Anne-Marie Tuikka, Sari Knaapi-Junnila
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventConference on Technology Ethics
Duration: 20 Oct 202122 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameCEUR workshop proceedings
ISSN (Print)1613-0073


ConferenceConference on Technology Ethics


  • sociotechnical pathology
  • social pathology
  • sociotechnical systems
  • critical social philosophy
  • social wrongs
  • social ontology

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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