Technen: Elements of Recent History of Information Technologies with Epistemological Conclusions

  • Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki

Part of the Intelligent Systems Reference Library book series (ISRL, volume 71)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
    Pages 1-11
  3. Epistemological Observations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Andrzej P. Wierzbicki
      Pages 31-55
    3. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
      Pages 79-96
    4. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
      Pages 97-115
  4. Elements of Recent History of Information Technologies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 117-117
    2. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
      Pages 119-135
    3. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
      Pages 157-173
    4. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
      Pages 175-188
  5. Epistemological Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. Andrzej P. Wierzbicki
      Pages 219-241
    3. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
      Pages 243-267
    4. Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
      Pages 269-296
  6. Closing

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 297-297
    2. Andrzej P. Wierzbicki
      Pages 299-308
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 309-320

About this book


The book expresses the conviction that the art of creating tools – Greek techne – changes its character together with the change of civilization epochs and co-determines such changes. This does not mean that tools typical for a civilization epoch determine it completely, but they change our way of perceiving and interpreting the world. There might have been many such epochs in the history of human civilization (much more than the three waves of agricultural, industrial and information civilization). This is expressed by the title Technen of the book, where n denotes a subsequent civilization epoch.

During last fifty years we observed a decomposition of the old episteme (understood as a way of creating and interpreting knowledge characteristic for a given civilization epoch) of modernism, which was an episteme typical for industrial civilization. Today, the world is differently understood by the representatives of three different cultural spheres: of strict and natural sciences; of human and social sciences (especially by their part inclined towards postmodernism) and technical sciences that have a different episteme than even that of strict and natural sciences. Thus, we observe today not two cultures, but three different episteme.

The book consists of four parts. First contains basic epistemological observations, second is devoted to selected elements of recent history of information technologies, third contains more detailed epistemological and general discussions, fourth specifies conclusions. The book is written from the cognitive perspective of technical sciences, with a full awareness – and discussion – of its differences from the cognitive perspective of strict sciences or human and social sciences. The main thesis of the book is that informational revolution will probably lead to a formation of a new episteme.

The book includes discussions of many issues related to such general perspective, such as what is technology proper; what is intuition from a perspective of technology and of evolutionary naturalism; what are the reasons for and how large are the delays between a fundamental invention and its broad social utilization; what is the fundamental logical error (using paradoxes that are not real, only apparent) of the tradition of sceptical philosophy; what are rational foundations and examples of emergence of order out of chaos; whether civilization development based on two positive feedbacks between science, technology and the market might lead inevitably to a self-destruction of human civilization; etc.


Creating Tools Creation of Tools History of Information Technologies Intelligent Systems Techne

Authors and affiliations

  • Andrzej Piotr Wierzbicki
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of TelecommunicationsWarsawPoland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-09032-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-09033-7
  • Series Print ISSN 1868-4394
  • Series Online ISSN 1868-4408
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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