WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF TECHNOLOGY?
Very tough question to answer, a question I would usually give up on answering after 2 minutese of thinking about it. But, unfortunately, I have an exam tomorrow that will have that exact question!
So what is the definition of Technology? If you try searching google for it, you will find it to be “The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry”. I wish it were as simple as that…
After reading a couple of books on technology by well-known and respected authors, that definition doesn’t quite satisfy me.
In this article I will attempt to define technology, something that many philosophers and people more educated than me have failed to do.
I believe we can’t define something without looking at the context in which the term was created. Let’s go back to the origin of the word. The word was first used by ancient Greece. It is constituted of two words: “Techne” meaning craft or art and “Logia” meaning the study of. So, we can say technology literally means “The Study of Crafting” or “The Study of Art”, which to me doesn’t explain technology fully.
Ursula Franklin mentioned in her book “The World of Technology” and David Nye in his book “Technology Matters” that technology could be a thoughtout process used to accomplish something, for example a Chimpanzee using a long stick to break open a termite nest. The Chimpanzee, by doing so, must have had a thought out process of getting a “long” stick, inserting it into the nest and waiting for the termites to exit their nest to eat them.
In my opinion, the next step in our definition is to determine if the “something” in this definition “A thoughtout process used to accomplish something” applies to anything or certain things? Is music considered as technology? Is language a technology? Is bench pressing a language, (bearing in mind that a bench press done properly constitutes of positioning your body in a specific way such as shoulder blades squeezed, arms at 45° from torso, and bar same level as chest)?
I believe that the “something” in the previous definition includes anything that if it is useful and is actually thought out, and not just an accident.