HPS202 Textbook Reading - Slack and Wise Chapter 1 (Progress)

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History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
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HPS202Slack and Wise Ch1Progressnew machine evidence human race moving forward race improved and life somehow betterUS idea of progress allied with idea of technology and vice versa progresstechnology but question of validitydefinition move forward cultural sense move towards something implying direction or goal and endpointadvancing toward future with envisioned utopia not blindlyprogress shows how far weve come achieved how much improved where goinggoals usually unstated determined by reading culture typically good lifegoals associated with progress material betterment comfortable healthier life more thingsmoral betterment spiritually enlightenedgoals of progress usually match fundamental values of societyprogress at particular moment chicken in every potdemocratic value of universal health and wellbeingcar in every garageindicating values of widespread personal mobility and private ownershipabsence of warviolencevalue of peace and spiritual enlightenmentcombination of threetendency to conflate or collapse sense of progress as something new moving forward with progress as material and moral betterment moving toward utopiawhen make assumption explicit see its not true but automatic assumption techprogressImportance of Criteriameasurement always criteria standards of reference to judgeeasier to count tangible things common to use measure of more things as measure of progressproblem with relying on numbers of things as progress reduces progress to those things that can be counted lose sight of qualitative more doesnt mean better necessarilyoften think technologies as things and easily measured culture accepts more things equals progresstech in culture linked with key values of Euro enlightenment of 18CE scientific objectivity efficiencyrationality valuing sciencevaluing applicationsmore tech as applications of science come to mean progress and tech allow produce more andachieve maximum output for minimum work with minundertake new tasks for efficiently resourcestech seen as rational power of reason to order the world and achieve particular ends chart progress
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