Technology is a hugely important aspect of contemporary society. It is an essential element of everyday life, a powerful economic force, and a key component in shaping contemporary society. The concept is not new, though the debate over the origins and uses of technology has become more heated in recent years.
The simplest definition of technology is that it is the application of knowledge to achieve a practical goal. Technologies include physical objects and intangible tools. These technologies may be the product of a technological endeavor or they may be a product of nature.
Technological innovations have shaped our lives and have had an enormous impact on the environment. Since the 1970s, however, some have criticized new technologies for their potential to harm individuals and groups.
Some of the earliest evidence of the philosophy of technology comes from ancient Greece. In fact, it is believed that Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes is still used in modern discussions of the metaphysics of artifacts.
Among humanities philosophers, the science of technology is generally taken for granted. They tend to focus on technology’s relationship to other phenomena, rather than the more analytical and esoteric aspects of the topic.
Eric Schatzberg’s book, Science and Technology in the Twentieth Century: A Critical History, is an essential guide to the subject. Schatzberg’s book draws from the best historiography available, and is the perfect reference for students and professionals alike. He also sets out to correct many of the common misconceptions associated with the topic.