Murphie Potts’ reading discusses technology, technique and culture.
Potts discusses the development of the word Technology and its definition, how the Greeks definition of technology tekhne was ‘art’ or ‘craft’. And how the current range of meanings arose with the new modern area. The new definition of technology arose with the growth of the ‘Industrial Revolution’.
The meaning of words such as ‘technology’ and ‘culture’ change as the social world changes. The definition of technology originally stuck to its Greek roots, but changed by the 1860s with the shift in modern usage, the word has come to mean the system of mechanical and industrial arts. This shift occurred with the rise of science, thus technology became to be understood as the application of scientific production in the form of engineering and the design of industrial systems. Over the succeeding decades this meaning became dominant.
The now more common definition of technology refers to its artificial character. How technology is not natural production, but one made by humans. Lorenzo Simpson defines technology as processes and skills that aim to control and transform. Technology has become so central to so many societies that it needs to be considered as much more than a collection of tools and machines. It involves cultural values, ideologies, ethical concerns and most importantly is shaped by political and economic determinants.