Comparative account of substantive technology theory in the 20th century
Hansen, Daniel Bruce
Master of Science
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It would be just as easy to say what this thesis is not about as it would be to say what it is about. Indeed, some would venture to say that most of this thesis is not about technology at all, with a paragraph about keyboards here, a footnote about microchips there, but rather pages about politics, sociology, anthropology, and so on. I would respond that it is all a matter of definition, and the definition of technology I am preferring in this thesis extends well beyond keyboards and microchips into the vastness of all politics, sociology, anthropology, and further still. This position carries with it a conclusion that technology, as defined, is among the determinants of individual, cultural, and social change. Admittedly, determinism in any form is considered unpopular, yet from the beginning of this process I have been given no sufficient reason to think otherwise. This thesis represents my own introduction to the philosophy of technology. Begun from a mere interest, every stage of research, every book, and every article provided something entirely new. I have tried to align and condense a small portion of it for this thesis, so the reader should be aware that many, many important thinkers on technology have been left out. As a result, this thesis, while still being ambitiously broad in scope for a treatment of this length, represents but a fraction of the held as whole. At any rate, it tells a story I believe is worth reading, especially in a momentous technological age such as ours.