Technology And Technological Determinism

1187 Words5 Pages
Since the advent of stone tools 2.5 million years ago, technology has played a crucial role in the way humans interact with one another and with the world around them. In the modern academic landscape, many historians and philosophers have attempted to explain the significance technology has played throughout the course of history. This has led to the emergence of several differing theories; all of these competing ideas agree that technology has been an integral factor in shaping the current landscape, but there are many conflicting viewpoints concerning the degree to which technology directly impacted society. Most recent thinkers argue that technology was but one variable in a mix of social, economic and political motives that shaped the current state of the world. Others, however, have clung to the original premise of technological determinism which proposes that human history was shaped directly and most influentially by the progress of technology and the artefacts thus created. With changes and updates to the general theory over the past several decades, various flavors of "hard" and "soft" determinism have developed. This paper seeks to illustrate that these seemingly disparate approaches to technology 's role through time are but each a singular thread, woven together into an illuminating tapestry depicting history in its truest form. The term "technological determinism" is believed to have originated from an American sociologist and economist in the late 19th
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