Philosophy of Technology


There is a long history of philosophical reflection on technology. One of the earliest written accounts of it comes from ancient Greece. In this ancient writing, four themes are prominent: the first is the thesis that technology is derived from nature. This is a central claim of Democritus, who argued that weaving and house-building first imitated the patterns of nature. Another early source of the idea that nature plays a normative role is Heraclitus.

Aristotle also addressed the issue of technology in his writings. He did not maintain that technology can only imitate nature, but that it must be rational. For example, he wrote in Physics II.8, 199a15, that technology should aim to improve the natural world, not destroy it. However, he was not as rigid in his view of technology, as Schummer has argued.

Today, technology is used in many different areas of business. It has enabled companies to stay competitive by creating new products and services and delivering them on time and within budget. Even small businesses have managed to compete with large companies using technology. Some of the technology used by small businesses can even make them look like a big company.

In addition to scientific and technological advancements, technology has also contributed to the development of the human race. For example, the Industrial Revolution gave us steam engines, spinning mills, and electricity. However, the emergence of industrialization also brought along the need for continuing technological innovation. As a result, some philosophers have argued that technological development is essential for communism and socialism. In this vein, Bimber (1990) discusses the role of technology in Marx’s theory of historical development.

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