Philosophy of Technology
Technology is a field of practice that deals with the creation of artifacts, including physical and intangible objects. It also includes the use of technical means to communicate ideas and information.
The field of technology is related to science, which is a systematic methodology. Despite the close connection between the two fields, there are important differences between the two.
A key concept in technology is the design process. This structured process leads to a specific goal. In this case, the goal is to create new products. The process often is represented as a series of translational steps.
An early theme in the philosophy of technology was that technology learns from nature. Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis (1627) expressed a positive view of technology.
Another early contribution to the philosophy of technology is Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes. His doctrine of the four causes is still present in modern discussions of metaphysics of artifacts.
The earliest sources of philosophical reflection on the nature of technology are from ancient Greece. For example, Aristotle referred to the examples of Democritus, who claimed that house-building imitated nature.
The early twentieth century saw lively discussions of foundational issues. These foundational issues show how scientists and philosophers shared a close relationship.
However, these issues are not necessarily relevant to the world of technologists and philosophers. Rather, they are important to understand how technology works and functions in society.
Among other aspects, there are the distinctions between descriptive and prescriptive. The latter is based on a clear definition of the scope of technology.