HST 701 Lecture Notes - Natural Philosophy, Socioeconomic Status, Technological Determinism

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Published on 22 Apr 2013
School
Ryerson University
Department
History
Course
HST 701
Professor
Assume that there is close relation between science and technology
- Throughout most of history, science and tech not really related
- Different statuses
- Up and until 19th century, technology was not considered to be equal of science
- Technology was considered inferior (artisans, engineers, craftspeople found to be inferior than
natural philosophers)
Aristotle and Plato were first to make distinction between technology and natural philosophy
- They were first to make technology inferior
- Socio/economic status was key to this classification
- Natural philosophers were rich, had money to just sit around and explore the world
- Craftsman/artisans were of lower class (had to work to make a living)
- Natural philopshy was considered study of universal knowledge (general laws/theories of world
around us)
- Technical knowledge was more subject specific to items themselves
- Despite the great creations of crafts peoples, they were unable to explain WHY objects worked
(made them look less superior)
In the Middle Ages
- Natural philosophy was still seen as superior
- Hue of St. Victor was first to say that technology was as valuable as natural philosophy
Renaissance
- People are beginning to see natural philosophy and technological arts as ways to gain fame and
wealth
- Started seeing connection between Natural philosophy and technological arts
- 3 things that
o Increased use of instruments in natural philosophy
Increase in experimentation (disputing Arisotle’s influence)
Natural philosopher’s saw experimentation as better way to understand the
world around them
o Social spaces
Places were different disciplines could come together and share ideas
Coffee houses, pubs, salons
Greater interaction between engineers/craftsman and natural philosophers
o Hybrid Humans
More people started to study both disciplines
Examples include Galileo and Da Vinci
Early to Mid 1800s
- Science and technology will grow most by mid 19th century
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Document Summary

Assume that there is close relation between science and technology. Throughout most of history, science and tech not really related. Up and until 19th century, technology was not considered to be equal of science. Technology was considered inferior (artisans, engineers, craftspeople found to be inferior than natural philosophers) Aristotle and plato were first to make distinction between technology and natural philosophy. Natural philosophers were rich, had money to just sit around and explore the world. Craftsman/artisans were of lower class (had to work to make a living) Natural philopshy was considered study of universal knowledge (general laws/theories of world around us) Technical knowledge was more subject specific to items themselves. Despite the great creations of crafts peoples, they were unable to explain why objects worked (made them look less superior) Natural philosophy was still seen as superior. Hue of st. victor was first to say that technology was as valuable as natural philosophy.

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