Technology is an important force in the modern world. It is not only an economic force, but also an instrument of culture. Hence, philosophical reflection on technology has been a topic of interest for some time. Historically, it has been discussed in the ancient world, especially in ancient Greece and Rome. However, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that technology became a formal discipline.
The early days of technology as a discipline are characterized by a positive outlook. It was thought that technology could be learned from nature. This idea gained traction in the Roman Empire and during the first half of the industrial revolution. Aristotle was one of the early philosophers to explore the use of technology as a way to explain the concept of reason. He found technological imagery to be vital in expressing his belief that the universe had been shaped in a rational manner.
As a practice, technology involves the creation of artifacts for a certain purpose. These artifacts may be bare physical structures or they may involve byproducts. Artifacts in the scientific sense include machines, machines with their parts, and a variety of other items.
In the modern era, a number of authors have argued for the democratization of technology. One example of this is a design science approach, which has been developed by Ilkka Niiniluoto. While the design science movement is a recent innovation, the notion of a technical norm is not. Technical norms are statements of the form If you want to achieve X, you should do Y.
Another major contribution to the technology category is the operational principle. This is a nifty little thing that is central to the process of engineering design. Although a clear definition is still lacking, it appears to be an amalgamation of the scientific and mathematical theories espoused by Polanyi in 1958.
Among the many other notable technological achievements is the fact that a machine can be manufactured. The design process is a series of translational steps leading to a product. During this phase, the social structure is mutable.
Another major accomplishment is the development of an experimental science. Experimental science largely relies on technology for gathering data. Scientists often refer to this as a technological miracle.
Other major advances in technology include the invention of the steam engine and the internet. Though these technological achievements are not without their drawbacks, they are a big step forward in terms of human progress. Many engineers are intrinsically motivated to develop better methods of producing goods and services. Moreover, most industrial companies are also genuinely interested in improving their products.
Considering the many different aspects of technology, it is difficult to determine the one that demonstrates the most enduring merit. One must consider the various aspects and find out the best way to discover new technologies. However, the process that can best accomplish this feat is still uncharted. Whether it is the most sophisticated or the simplest is something that will be debated for many years to come.