Technology is the application of knowledge to produce a desired result. It is an endeavor that involves the use of tools and techniques, and is often associated with the development of artifacts. The term can also refer to a product, service or method of organization.
The earliest known testimony about technology is from ancient Greece. A stone tool is considered the earliest known technological advancement. In the Bronze Age, the wheel allowed the creation of more complex machines. Technological innovations have shaped our daily lives. These inventions have become an integral part of our culture and society. They have made communication more accessible and have helped us to create and develop new knowledge. This has resulted in the invention of many things, from the internet to the smart phone.
The best way to understand technology is to examine its origins. This helps us to understand its role in society. Many engineers are intrinsically motivated to improve the world around them. Likewise, technology plays a role in arguments to prescribe a course of action. Some of these arguments are purely rhetorical, while others rely on technical savvy.
Similarly, the first half of the twentieth century witnessed a period of scientific revolution characterized by mathematical articulation of scientific theories and experimental methodology. Science and engineering played a central role in human society, and these advances were impressive. However, there were major limitations of time and money. Moreover, it was not until recently that a community of engineers was recognized and studied.
One of the earliest contributions to the philosophy of technology was Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes. Aristotle referred to these artifacts to explain his doctrine. Among other things, this doctrine was considered the shortest path to the best explanation.
One of the most interesting aspects of the history of technology is that it is so diverse. There are many different perspectives on what makes an object technological, and how it might be measured. For example, a technology can be a scientific discovery or a cultural phenomenon. And, it may even be a political statement.
Although there are plenty of theories to choose from, it is still difficult to know what to believe. If you’re in the market for a good book on the subject, the best of the lot is Eric Schatzberg’s 2006 article “What Is Technology?”. Throughout the article, Schatzberg traces the concept’s history. His resulting book will be the standard reference for many years to come. He identifies two diverging traditions of technology, a political and a technological, and the differences between them.
Of all the books I’ve read, this is the one that has made the most impact on me. It is a great guide to the subject and has prompted me to look deeper into the philosophy of technology. As a technology educator, it has been invaluable.
Finally, the book has a manifesto, which outlines the author’s intentions. Specifically, the book is intended to be a starting point for rehabilitating the concept of technology.