Religion and Technology: A Study in the Philosophy of Culture

By Jay Newman | Go to book overview

2
Technology and Techne

DEFINITIONS AND PARADIGMS OF TECHNOLOGY

If technology were a person, she might be moved by now to propose that if only her critics knew her better, they would not be as hasty to blame her for so many contemporary cultural problems. Why should technology be difficult to know well? For one thing, grasping the concept of technology can be tricky. The term technology is used by "ordinary" users of our language in "ordinary" everyday situations, and most of us would object to being told by some self-proclaimed expert that we should avoid using it because it is basically a technical or semi-technical term best left to specialists of various kinds. Of course, as is often the case with words that we use in ordinary language, including some of the words that we use most frequently, it is not at all easy to provide, when requested, a straightforward definition of technology with which we can feel entirely comfortable. We generally are confident that we have a sound working conception of the nature of technology, and we understand on reflection that this conception is largely based on the consideration of particular technologies that we take to be paradigms. We assume that most people with whom we discuss technology have roughly the same group of paradigms in mind; and although sometimes we come to realize, in the course of a conversation, that the particular person with whom we are sharing use of the term technology has something significantly different in mind from what we do when she uses the term, that occasional surprise does not discourage us from keeping the word in our everyday vocabulary. Still, maybe we take for granted that such signifi-

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Religion and Technology: A Study in the Philosophy of Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1- Religion and Antitechnology 1
  • Notes 31
  • 2- Technology and Techne 39
  • 3- Technology and Progress 73
  • Notes 105
  • 4- Technology as a Religious Endeavor 109
  • Notes 138
  • 5- Religion, Technology, and Culture 143
  • Notes 170
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 187
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