Technology refers to the application of knowledge in order to attain a specific practical goal. This could be anything from a product to an endeavor.
There are two main traditions of technology. One is the instrumentalist tradition, which focuses on technology’s role as a technical rationality. The other is the interpretative sociology of technology.
In the late nineteenth century, there was a prevailing positive attitude towards technology. This attitude lasted through the industrial revolution. However, in the early twentieth century, there were lively discussions regarding foundational issues. These issues were not directly addressed by philosophers and technologists.
Philosophical reflection on technology did not grow at the same rate as other aspects of philosophy. However, the Renaissance encouraged greater appreciation for human creative efforts.
During this period, there was a wide range of works. Some focused on philosophical aspects of technology, while others focused on the practical aspects.
Schatzberg’s newest book is based on his article that appeared in the Technology and Culture magazine in 2006. It is an extensive analysis of technology’s conceptual history, with an aim to reformulate the concept of technology in a way that is more enlightened.
Schatzberg’s manifesto states that the goal of the book is to rehabilitate technology as a concept. He claims that the best way to achieve this is to make the book not just an academic study, but a work of scholarship.
He argues that the earliest testimony on the philosophy of technology comes from ancient Greece. As Aristotle wrote in Physics II.8, “Weaving, house-building, and weaving were first invented by imitating nature.”
For some, the term is sufficiently foreign. Others consider it sufficiently erudite.