Philosophy of Technology
Technology is a general term referring to the use of tools, techniques and systems. It is a category of practice, in which artifacts, based on the design process, are created and used to provide services.
Technological innovations have shaped the world, and they continue to affect our lives. New technologies have created great opportunities, but they have also harmed individuals and groups, and the environment. Many new technologies have contributed to our well-being and prosperity, but the environmental impact of these innovations has been a topic of debate since the 1970s.
For the first half of the Industrial Revolution, technology was viewed positively. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, the critical attitude predominated. These representatives of critical attitude were schooled in the humanities and social sciences and had little experience with engineering practices.
In the early twentieth century, scientific revolution began and the scientific world view affected human thought directly. Karl Marx believed that the continuing development of technology was necessary for communism.
A number of philosophers have tried to explain the relationship between science and technology. One early contribution to the philosophy of technology is Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes. His theory of the four causes was a way of explaining the metaphysics of artifacts.
Other important early contributions to the philosophy of technology include Democritus’ claim that the weaving of fabrics imitated nature. This is often interpreted as a way of arguing that the technology was not merely a means to an end.