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70. Technology, Philosophy of


Subject Philosophy

Key-Topics science, technology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631230205.2001.00073.x


Philosophy of technology is a relatively new philosophical subdiscipline, and some would argue that it does not even now have that status. Reasons for philosophy's tendency to ignore technology will be considered below; but first it may be instructive to see why it has been difficult to stake out a territory for “philosophy of technology.” Analytic philosophy has a strong tradition in philosophy of science, whose concern has been mostly with the nature of scientific knowledge, the kind of rational justification that can be afforded for scientific claims and for making choices between competing theories, and with the mechanisms of scientific change (or progress). Since, in the public mind, science and technology have become inextricably linked, it was not unnatural that philosophers of science should think of extending their domain of inquiry to include technology. (See, e.g., Laudan 1984 .) There are nonphilosophical reasons why this kind of research should be given support in the form of research funding. Many governments and large multinational companies have an interest in determining what are the methods by which technological advances are made. Science policy units have been established with the aim of trying to determine what scientific and technological research should be funded in order to keep up with, and hopefully steal a march on, industrial and military competitors. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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