There are many different philosophical perspectives on technology. Some are Analytic, Humanities, or Pragmatist. This article looks at the Humanities philosophy of technology. We also discuss Pragmatist ethics and Instrumental definition. These approaches are all equally valid, and can help us better understand and evaluate technology as a social force.
Humanities philosophy of technology
The humanities philosophy of technology draws its philosophical inspiration from the humanities and the social sciences. The founders of the humanities philosophy of technology include Lewis Mumford, Ortega y Gasset, and Martin Heidegger. Heidegger, for example, saw technology as an autonomous force that creates and alters the world. Though his views remain relevant to popular discussions about technology, the field has largely rejected these ideas. However, a new perspective emerged in the 1980s, especially in the field of Science and Technology Studies.
Philosophers of technology have explored the question of whether technology has moral agency. Some have argued that technologies embody specific forms of power and are thus politicized. Other approaches have drawn from pragmatism and discourse ethics.
Analytic philosophy of technology
Analytic philosophy of technology is the study of the major issues that technology presents to society. This includes questions of societal values and ethics. It also addresses issues related to engineering and the societal consequences of technological advances. Analytic philosophy of technology is a branch of philosophy that has its roots in the humanities and considers how technology influences society.
Analytic philosophy of technology emphasizes the role of human knowledge in technology. It has a long history and is the subject of many books. It has influenced many fields, including engineering and science. Its main theme is the status and character of technological artifacts. This is a different theme from scientific knowledge, which has been extensively studied.
Technological culture is dynamic, and old ways of reproducing ourselves and managing nature are continuously replaced by new ways. We are also constantly discussing norms and values regarding our bodies, food production, health care, environmental protection, and other areas. Practicing ethics in a technological culture requires a flexible approach to such issues.
Pragmatist ethics is not an extreme departure from the ethical tradition, but it implies a number of interrelated changes. These include a shift in emphasis from epistemology to methodology, from product to process, and from justification to discovery.
Epistemological status of technological statements
Technological statements, like any other statements, have an epistemological status. Philosophers of technology have a range of theories on the subject. Some view technologies as inherently normative or politicized, while others take a more critical approach. They may view technology as a tool for making social, economic, and political judgments.
Philosophical reflection on technology traces its roots to antiquity. Aristotle, for instance, cited Democritus’ examples of natural phenomena but did not maintain that technology could imitate nature. He wrote about his view in Physics II.8 and II.2, and Schummer has written extensively on Aristotle and technology.