Advertisement

The Confusion between Science and Technology in the Standard Philosophies of Science

  • Joseph Agassi
Chapter
  • 103 Downloads
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 28)

Abstract

The distinction between pure and applied science seems too trivial to draw, since applied science, as the name implies, aims at practical ends, whereas pure science does not. There is an overlap, to be sure, which is known as fundamental research and which is pure science in the short run but applied in the long run; that is to say, fundamental research is the search for certain laws of nature with an eye to using these laws. Still, this overlap shows that though the distinction is not exclusive it is clear enough. The distinction between applied science and technology is a different matter altogether. All philosophers of science equate them, whereas it is clear that technology includes, at the very least, applied science, invention, implementation of the results of both applied science and invention, and the maintenance of the existing apparatus, especially in the face of unexpected changes, disasters, and so forth. The distinction between applied science and invention, to my knowledge, was made by only one writer, the most important writer on technology, perhaps; I am referring to H. S. Hatfield and his The Inventor and His World. Hatfield does not draw the distinction explicitly, but he uses it clearly and systematically enough. Applied science, according to his view, is an exercise in deduction, whereas invention is finding a needle in a haystack.

Keywords

Applied Science Patent Office Material Success Pure Science Good Hypothesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Pierre Simon, Marquis de Laplace, ‘Application of the Calculus of Probabilities to Moral Philosophy’, A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (paperbound ed., New York 1951), chapter X.Google Scholar
  2. Matthew Josephson, Edison (paperbound ed., New York 1959), pp. ix-xi.Google Scholar
  3. Michael Polanyi, Pure and Applied Science and Their Appropriate Forms of OrganizationSociety for Freedom in Science, Occasional Pamphlet No. 14 Oxford, December 1953, p. 2. See also p. 9.Google Scholar
  4. E. Mach, ‘The Economical Nature of Physical Research’, Popular Scientific Lectures La Salle, 111., 1907Google Scholar
  5. Popper, ‘The Aim of Science’, Ratio 1 (1957), 24–35Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Agassi

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations