Skip navigation

History of Technology

  • ÜÜ
  • Page 2 of 2
  •  
Ideas and Idealism in the Development of Technology

From cathedrals to star wars, Arnold Pacey looks at the interaction of technologies and society over the last thousand years and uses that survey to argue for a more humane form of future technological development. The second edition of The Maze of Ingenuity concentrates on Europe and North America and incorporates recent insights from the history and sociology of technology. A new series of chapters extends Pacey's discussion of the role of ideas and ideals in technology in the period since the industrial revolution.

In this sweeping cultural history, James Flink provides a fascinating account of the creation of the world's first automobile culture. He offers both a critical survey of the development of automotive technology and the automotive industry and an analysis of the social effects of "automobility" on workers and consumers.

James J. Flink is an affiliate of the Institute of Transportation Studies and Professor of Comparative Culture at the University of California, Irvine.

A History of Individuals and Ideas

The succinct, nontechnical essays in Technology in America cover the history of American invention from Thomas Jefferson's founding of the Patent Office to Robert Goddards space-age rockets. Each treats an individual and a concept, highlighting the important role technological change has played in the evolution of American culture. The major themes include the effects of technology transfer, the development of the American system of manufacturing, the institutionalization of knowledge and scientific research, and technology as it social process.

New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology

The impact of technology on society is clear and unmistakable. The influence of society on technology is more subtle. The 13 essays in this book draw on a wide array of case studies from cooking stoves to missile systems, from 15th­century Portugal to today's AI labs - to outline an original research program based on a synthesis of ideas from the social studies of science and the history of technology. Together they affirm the need for a study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions.

The Very Idea

"Machines who think—how utterly preposterous," huff beleaguered humanists, defending their dwindling turf. "Artificial Intelligence—it's here and about to surpass our own," crow techno-visionaries, proclaiming dominion. It's so simple and obvious, each side maintains, only a fanatic could disagree.

The Dilemma of Technological Determinism

These thirteen essays explore a crucial historical question that has been notoriously hard to pin down: To what extent, and by what means, does a society's technology determine its political, social, economic, and cultural forms?Karl Marx launched the modern debate on determinism with his provocative remark that "the hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, society with the industrial capitalist," and a classic article by Robert Heilbroner (reprinted here) renewed the debate within the context of the history of technology.

A Thousand-Year History

Most general histories of technology are Eurocentrist, focusing on a main line of Western technology that stretches from the Greeks is through the computer. In this very different book, Arnold Pacey takes a global view, placing the development of technology squarely in a "world civilization." He portrays the process as a complex dialectic by which inventions borrowed from one culture are adopted to suit another.Arnold Pacey is a physicist turned historian whose publications have contributed to the British appropriate-technology movement.

  • ÜÜ
  • Page 2 of 2
  •