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Evolution of Technology

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ISBN-10: 0521296811

ISBN-13: 9780521296816

Edition: 1988

Authors: George Basalla, Owen Hannaway, Owen Hannaway

List price: $57.99
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Presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based on recent scholarship in the history of technology and on relevant material drawn from economic history and anthropology. Challenges the popular notion that technological advances arise from the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions that owe little or nothing to the technological past. Therefore, the book's argument is shaped by analogies drawn selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not from the theory and practice of political revolution. Three themes appear, with variations, throughout the study. The first is diversity: an acknowledgment of the vast numbers of different kinds of made things (artifacts) that long have been available to humanity. The second theme is necessity: the mistaken belief that humans are driven to invent new artifacts in order to meet basic biological needs such as food, shelter, and defense. And the third theme is technological evolution: an organic analogy that explains both the emergence of the novel artifacts and their subsequent selection by society for incorporation into its material life without invoking either biological necessity or technological process.
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Book details

List price: $57.99
Copyright year: 1988
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 2/24/1989
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 260
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Diversity, necessity, and evolution
Continuity and discontinuity
Novelty: psychological and intellectual factors
Novelty: socioeconomic and cultural factors
Selection: economic and military factors
Selection: social and cultural factors
Conclusion: evolution and progress
Sources of questions