Blog Post #1: What is technology?

For my first blog post for this course I think it is fitting and important to discuss the question, “What is technology? And why should anyone care how it is defined?”. After discussing the readings from both Dusek and Heidegger, I believe I have a better understanding of this complex question. Dusek talks about three definitions of technology which include technology as hardware, technology as rules, and technology as system (Dusek, 31). There is truth in all three of these definitions, but each one on its own does not quite completely define technology. Technology as hardware is what most people think of when talking about technology as it is mostly understood as tools that we use to complete a goal. However, tools and machines are not the only form of technology that we use to achieve something. The example Dusek uses to illustrate this point is “technique” as technology, which would be under the umbrella of “technology as rules” (Dusek, 32). I would also argue language is a technology as it is used to achieve the goal of communication.

Technology as system seems to be the most suitable of these three definitions because the emphasis is on both the hardware used and the context in which the technology is used by people (Dusek, 33). This gives us a greater idea of how intertwined people and technology truly are when thinking about how to define it. Although this definition is more fitting, I do not believe it completely expresses the idea of technology. Reading The Question Concerning Technology allowed me to understand the complexity of pursuing a perfect definition of technology.

People should care about defining technology because obtaining a deeper understanding of what technology is can help us to appreciate the ways in which we use it. It is also impossible to remove yourself from technology, so it will be useful to pursue its understanding.

Source:

Dusek, Van. 2006. “What is Technology? Defining or Characterizing Technology.” Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction, 26-37. Blackwell Publishing.

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1 Comment

  1. Great post, Hayden. I really love your final sentence, explaining that removing yourself from technology is important to understanding it’s meaning. It’s totally true – to totally understand how technology does and doesn’t effect us, we need to see what life is like, in some capacity, when we don’t use it. Great post!

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