Philosophy of the technical process

Fourie, Hercules Salmon (2009-12)

Thesis (DSc (Sociology and Social Anthropology. Centre for Research on Science and Technology))—University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this study the fundamental question about the technical relationship is investigated. The term ‘technology’ was found to be misused out of contexts by various disciplinary authors. Some authors used it for the notion that could better be described as artefacts. Consequently what was called ‘technology transfer’ was little more than artefactual transfer. Others concentrated on production and design that could better be described by techno-practice. Still others confused so-called ‘technological knowledge’ with what could be described as techno-knowledge and techno-literacy. A survey of notions of the authors in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), especially those that focussed on technology was done and it was found that the following elements were identifiable: Techno-practice for the ‘practice’ of the making, forming, designing and maintaining of artefacts. For this was required Technoknowledge, for the know-how and experience in making, and maintaining these artefacts. Furthermore the element of Techno-science for the technical science that was recording knowledge from different sciences like mathematics, physics and electronics etc. to help in the solutions of techno-practice was identified. Lastly technoliteracy was distinguished from techno-knowledge, indicating the capability to use artefacts without necessarily having the knowledge to fix them. Driving a car but not being able to fix it sounds like a good example. The result of techno-practice is normally an artefact. What was interesting, is that many saw the result of technology as technology. Many associate an artefact with the process of techno-practice under the term ‘technology’. An amazing paradigmparalysis was found that could not distinguish the technical from the technological and cannot be better illustrated than by the biased statement: “Clearly computers are technology…” where-as clearly computers are artefacts, the result of a technical design and production process. Lastly the transcendental empirical method was used to consider the ontic (transcendental) conditions required for this technical relationship and it was described in an ontological, anthropological and societal framework.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die studie is die grondvraag na die tegniese verwantskap ondersoek. Daar is gevind dat die term ‘tegnologie’ buite konteks misbruik word deur verskeie vakwetenskaplike outeurs. Sommige gebruik dit vir wat beter aangedui kan word met die term artefakt. Gevolglik is wat genoem was ‘tegnologie-oordrag’ eintlik beter beskryf met die terme artefakt oordrag. Ander het konsentreer op produksie en ontwerp wat eintlik beter beskryf kan word met die term tegno-praktyk. Sogenaamde ‘tegnologiese kennis’ is verder verwar met wat eintlik beter beskryf kan word as tegniese kennis en tegniese geletterdheid. ‘n Oorsig van terme en gebruike van outeurs in die veld van wetenskap en tegnologie studies (STS) veral diegene wat op ‘tegnologie’ gekonsentreer het, het die volgende elemente ge-identifiseer. Tegno-praktyk vir die praktyk van vervaardiging, ontwerp en instandhouding van artefakte. Tegniese kennis (tegno-kennis) vir die ondervinding van vorming en instandhouding van die artefakte. Tegniese wetenskap (tegno-wetenskap) vir die wetenskap wat kennis aangaande die tegniese proses byeenbring uit ander wetenskappe soos wiskunde, fisika en elektronika, byvoorbeeld om tegniese probleme op te los en moontlikhede te skep. Laastens was tegniese geletterdheid onderskei van tegniese kennis soos om ‘n motor te kan bestuur sonder om dit noodwendig te kan herstel. Die gevolg van tegno-praktyk is gewoonlik ‘n artefakt. Wat interessant was is die feit dat verskeie die resultaat van ‘tegnologie’ as ‘tegnologie’ beskou het. Baie gevalle van waar ‘n artefakt gelykgestel was aan die proses van tegno-praktyk was opgemerk natuurlik onder die term ‘tegnologie’. ‘n Verbasende paradigma versteendheid was gevind waar outeurs nie die onderskeid tussen die tegniese en tegnologiese kon onderskei nie. In ‘n sekere sin kan dit nie beter geïllustreer word as die volgende bevooroordeelde stelling dat dit tog ‘…duidelik is dat rekenaars tegnologie is…’ terwyl dit ewe-eens duidelik is dat rekenaars eintlik artefakte is, die resultaat van ‘n ontwerp en vervaardigingsproses. Laastens is die transendentaal empiriese metode gebruik om die onties (transendentale) struktuurvoorwaardes vir die tegniese verwantskap in ag te neem en daarna is dit beskryf in ‘n ontologiese, (wysgerig) antropologiese en samelewingsraamwerk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1073
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