Defining Technology


Having an understanding of technology can inspire your desire to work in the industry. Technology is a practice that involves the creation of artifacts and services that make life easier. Technology often exploits scientific truths and aims to make processes easier for people. It’s a major economic force and holds contemporary society together.

Defining technology is tricky. Some claim that it’s simply a term for applied science. However, the term “operational principle” appears to have originated with Polanyi (1958).

A technologist chooses a course of action based on a scientific understanding of the present world. This involves reasoning through constraints. In a broader sense, it means that you’re bringing the world closer to a desired state.

Some have argued for a more democratized form of technological development. Many technologists see their work as a problem-solving process, but many are also intrinsically motivated to make the world better.

Technology is also important as a cultural force. For instance, the internet makes communication easier. It also allows people to call and text other people.

It is important to understand technology’s origins. For example, in the ancient Roman empire, technological progress was rapid and the Roman empire flourished. This led to a greater appreciation of human creativity and the creative process.

Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes is another early contribution to the philosophy of technology. Aristotle explained his doctrine by referring to technical artifacts.

It’s important to distinguish between descriptive and prescriptive aspects of technology. Polanyi (1958) and Herbert Simon (1969) emphasized this distinction.

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