HPS308H1F Exam Prep.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Hakob Barseghyan

HPS308 Exam PrepNotebookUfTCreated12162013 653 PMUpdated12172013 853 PMLocationToronto Division Ontario CanadaURLhttpwwwscarufficommindtaylorhtmlWHAT IS TECHNOLOGY I The paradoxAMost people at first glance would think this is an easy even trivial question BOn second thought many difficulties arise about what technology is even before the moral questions of whether it is bad or good IIThe History of the word and preliminary definitionAAn ubiquitous word but often misunderstood BUnderstandable because of the difficulties of the concept CA relatively new word in the English language DA preliminary definition By one account 600 different meaningsTool of man to help improve my livesCreated out of scientific or objective meansTechneArtLogosDiscourseSystematic Purposefully manipulation of the external worldProcess of power through technique through medium of machine to alter material in a useful waymatter energy technique machineDefinitions are elegant but inflexibleIII What is technologyAIs it stuff things BIs it ideas knowledge CIs it a THING singular Artifactclassify society as more or less technologicaltechnology is defined by the complexity of the techsuv is superior to a horse cartBigger is betterPyramidsExcessive attention to hard technologiesPhysics and chemistry associatedPlenty of military technologySociety judged in military technologyRelation to the militaryindustrial complexTechnology decided WWIIPoor association with biologySoft TechnologyArgricuture Birthing Organization etcIdeas KnowledgeScience AssociatedNatural scienceKnowledge about artificial and natural worldTacit knowledgeimplicit knowhow of how things workIVTechnological determinism arises from this viewTwo subsidiary thesesATechnologys development is constrained by immutable and rigid laws that condition that development BTechnology determines economic and social life and is the most important motor human society Technologys development is constrained by immutable and rigid laws that condition that developmentout of human control to a large degreesoft determinismthere is a general tendency to do somethingTechnology determines economics societyis a Basis for alot of human activityMarxist tennantTechnology is the center of human social activityOptimism and PessimismSomething thats there and needs to be controlled in a proactive fashionRadical Technological DeterministVThis often leads to two radically different attitudes optimism or pessimismVI Many people today are radical technological determinists most historians of technology are notBill Gates One thing is clear we dont have an option from turning away from the futurePeople always fear changeWhen did Technology AppearTimothy Taylors Artificial Apetools cameIQ aft or the other way aroundSling allowed early homosapiens to carry offspringneed alot of nurturing and protectionHumans are the weakest of the great apes We cannot survive without clothes and houses It seems irrational that the one ape that is so vulnerable ended up dominating every other species In fact humans should not have survived evolution at all because reproduction is so dangerous complicated and in the past lethal for both baby and mother and then because children require so much attention and dedication lest they die of the silliest causes compare with the cubs of other mammals that are selfsufficient within weeks if not daysThe British archeologist Timothy Taylor argues that technology is the solution to this apparent contradiction Evolution is not only biological The culturaltechnological component is equally important and it vastly favored humans over any other species Technology is very much part of what we mean by being human Darwins theory of evolution needs to be complemented with a story of how technology allowed humans to violate the very rules that Darwin found embedded in all other species According to Darwins blind algorithm of natural selection humans should have gone extinct very quickly Biological evolution or better biological accident accounts for humans developing the upright posture That posture freed the hands and allowed humans to make tools That situation completely altered the normal course of biological evolution because from that point on technology introduced a parallel non blind at all algorithm Humans started evolving not based on biological laws of evolution but based on technological factors Taylor claims that technology evolved us httpwwwscarufficommindtaylorhtmlbigger brains allowedWe have never been naturalfire came aroundIQ allowed for group dynamicssurvival of the strongest didnt happen to humanstools changed the balance of powerThe Historical Development of TechnologyHowever some aspects of the history of technolog have been around for quitesome timeA Myths of gods and goddesses who taught human beings useful arts Ceres goddess of agriculture divine heroes Prometheus or Great Men Imhotep who created techniques or artifacts that people considered usefulB Lists of wonders and marvels eg the Seven Wonders of Antiquity lists of inventions with haphazard attribution of authorship
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