Essay on The Nature Of Technology By Brian Arthur

1613 Words Nov 30th, 2014 7 Pages
In “The Nature of Technology” by Brian Arthur he uses an equivalence from science. When anatomy was still progressing, about 200 years ago, a French zoologist named George Cuvier said “after inspecting a single bone, one can often determine the class, and sometimes even the genus of the animal to which it belonged.” (13) Although small advancements were being made there was yet to be a complete theory that brought together all of the knowledge, or that could explain the way by which animals came to be or how they evolve. It was not until Charles Darwin that biology really became anything more than a collection of facts and ideas. Brian Arthur believes that we are in a similar place with technology. We have yet to come up with a complete definition of ‘technology’, and don’t yet have a clear understanding of what innovation is. This book isn’t a set of standards that aim to explain the structure of the subject but more nearly ideals that attempt to fill in the blanks. Brian Arthur defines technology in a number of different ways. A general definition that he gives is that it is “a means to fulfill a human purpose.” (28) This definition explains how technology is made by humans but also makes humans what they are. This sets it apart it from the results of evolution in biology which come from the pressure on selection of arbitrary variations. Another definition that he gives is that technology is an accumulation of techniques and ideas. Technology isn’t anything by itself but…

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