Published Resources Details Book Section

Buchanan, R. A.
The nature of technology
The Power of the Machine
Viking, London, 1992, pp. 3-20

Accession No.1960


Technology is the study of human techniques for making and doing things. Strictly speaking - and the English language is rarely used with such precision on this point - technology is not concerned with the mastery of the techniques, which are the subjects of this study: these are likely to require a large amount of specialist knowledge which can only be acquired by a long apprenticeship. Technology deals instead with the when and where, the how and the why of such techniques: it aims at interpreting them within a social context, at explaining how they arose and flourished, the manner of their interrelationships, their ramifications and the reasons for their decline. Technology is concerned with understanding techniques within the environment of their social development.