The Technological Society
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The transformation from arts and crafts to modern science and technology arose primarily from a transformation in the conception of the origin of artificial and natural powers as having the same unitary origin and manifest according to the same principles or laws. The emergence of this metaphysical conceptual synthesis allowed modern experimental science to become possible as a means of using technology to discover natural mechanisms, while technology became represented as an artificial process of utilising the natural mechanisms discovered by experimental science. Nature could then be conceptualised in terms of universal mathematical laws, materials, mechanisms, functions, and efficient causes. This allowed the development of a representation of the human condition in terms of a scientific world-picture within which Nature provided the means for its own domination by Man, and technology was represented as a neutral process accessible to universal rationality, defined in terms of a technical rationality based on concepts of efficiency and productivity. Mechanical realism conceptually represents machines as the objective interface between Man and Nature, understanding Nature theoretically in terms of machine performances, situating Man within the scientific world-picture as one who grasps objective reality by using technology both to change his material conditions of existence and to refine the understanding of how Nature works through mapping out the contours between human intervention and machine performances.