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Philosophy of Science and Technology Phd

Philosophy of Science and Technology Phd

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Publicado poralloyihuah
Modern science and technology have enhanced man’s power of manipulating and controlling nature, of reducing drudgery and improving the quality of human life, though, its uses unveils several difficult questions; it has generated many problems and has solved some as well. Today, the historical dialectics of science and technology are increasingly assuming paradoxical dimensions, more purposeful and purposeless, more meaningful and bizarre, and more useful and destructive. While the achievements in science and technology have served to prolong life, they have also served to provide resources for its brutal extermination. Science and technology provide the material ingredients which human development requires though, happiness, ethical values, spiritual well being and wholesomeness of the human person are no less needed as important elements of a humane society.
We argue in this thesis that, a pro-active ethical approach to scientific and technological endeavours guarantees a sustainable and more human friendly development which transforms the quality of human life on earth. Sustainable human development is not, and should not be a journey outward away from the essential human nature but the integral well being of man in his material and spiritual life. It involves shifting the balance of human development towards improving the quality of human life on earth. We argue further that, a civilization qualifies as development, if and only if increase in knowledge is accompanied with increase in wisdom. For, science without conscience is like a tool in the hand of a man without experience, he manipulates it at random, injures himself and destroys the environment more than he makes progress at work.
The work explicates the healing power of the science of human conduct (ethics) and recommends the morality of human integration (African humanism) as a catalyst that conducts humanity back into its essential nature on earth, to live a life that is in harmony with other members of the biotic community. This is an African communal ethic which views man, in his existential quality, as the totality of the beauty of life, the beauty of all and the plenitude of cosmic life in whom exists the basic attribute of being externally and realised.














Modern science and technology have enhanced man’s power of manipulating and controlling nature, of reducing drudgery and improving the quality of human life, though, its uses unveils several difficult questions; it has generated many problems and has solved some as well. Today, the historical dialectics of science and technology are increasingly assuming paradoxical dimensions, more purposeful and purposeless, more meaningful and bizarre, and more useful and destructive. While the achievements in science and technology have served to prolong life, they have also served to provide resources for its brutal extermination. Science and technology provide the material ingredients which human development requires though, happiness, ethical values, spiritual well being and wholesomeness of the human person are no less needed as important elements of a humane society.
We argue in this thesis that, a pro-active ethical approach to scientific and technological endeavours guarantees a sustainable and more human friendly development which transforms the quality of human life on earth. Sustainable human development is not, and should not be a journey outward away from the essential human nature but the integral well being of man in his material and spiritual life. It involves shifting the balance of human development towards improving the quality of human life on earth. We argue further that, a civilization qualifies as development, if and only if increase in knowledge is accompanied with increase in wisdom. For, science without conscience is like a tool in the hand of a man without experience, he manipulates it at random, injures himself and destroys the environment more than he makes pro
Modern science and technology have enhanced man’s power of manipulating and controlling nature, of reducing drudgery and improving the quality of human life, though, its uses unveils several difficult questions; it has generated many problems and has solved some as well. Today, the historical dialectics of science and technology are increasingly assuming paradoxical dimensions, more purposeful and purposeless, more meaningful and bizarre, and more useful and destructive. While the achievements in science and technology have served to prolong life, they have also served to provide resources for its brutal extermination. Science and technology provide the material ingredients which human development requires though, happiness, ethical values, spiritual well being and wholesomeness of the human person are no less needed as important elements of a humane society.
We argue in this thesis that, a pro-active ethical approach to scientific and technological endeavours guarantees a sustainable and more human friendly development which transforms the quality of human life on earth. Sustainable human development is not, and should not be a journey outward away from the essential human nature but the integral well being of man in his material and spiritual life. It involves shifting the balance of human development towards improving the quality of human life on earth. We argue further that, a civilization qualifies as development, if and only if increase in knowledge is accompanied with increase in wisdom. For, science without conscience is like a tool in the hand of a man without experience, he manipulates it at random, injures himself and destroys the environment more than he makes progress at work.
The work explicates the healing power of the science of human conduct (ethics) and recommends the morality of human integration (African humanism) as a catalyst that conducts humanity back into its essential nature on earth, to live a life that is in harmony with other members of the biotic community. This is an African communal ethic which views man, in his existential quality, as the totality of the beauty of life, the beauty of all and the plenitude of cosmic life in whom exists the basic attribute of being externally and realised.














Modern science and technology have enhanced man’s power of manipulating and controlling nature, of reducing drudgery and improving the quality of human life, though, its uses unveils several difficult questions; it has generated many problems and has solved some as well. Today, the historical dialectics of science and technology are increasingly assuming paradoxical dimensions, more purposeful and purposeless, more meaningful and bizarre, and more useful and destructive. While the achievements in science and technology have served to prolong life, they have also served to provide resources for its brutal extermination. Science and technology provide the material ingredients which human development requires though, happiness, ethical values, spiritual well being and wholesomeness of the human person are no less needed as important elements of a humane society.
We argue in this thesis that, a pro-active ethical approach to scientific and technological endeavours guarantees a sustainable and more human friendly development which transforms the quality of human life on earth. Sustainable human development is not, and should not be a journey outward away from the essential human nature but the integral well being of man in his material and spiritual life. It involves shifting the balance of human development towards improving the quality of human life on earth. We argue further that, a civilization qualifies as development, if and only if increase in knowledge is accompanied with increase in wisdom. For, science without conscience is like a tool in the hand of a man without experience, he manipulates it at random, injures himself and destroys the environment more than he makes pro

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Published by: alloyihuah on Apr 18, 2011
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02/07/2013

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Advocates of scientific neutrality argue that, science as a body of knowledge has no

moral or ethical quality substantially, value judgements, cultural biases and that, political

standpoints do not in any way influence or determine scientific knowledge. They argue

further that, there is nothing ‘good’ or ‘bad’ about scientific knowledge. Such position is

acknowledged by the great Galileo himself that “the conclusions of natural science are true

and necessary, and the judgement of man has nothing to do with them” (Joan Lipscombe &

Bill Williams 1979:6).

While acknowledging the quality and weight of such informed position, it suffices to

say that this position is a contradiction in terms for the simple reason that the pursuit of

knowledge in itself, which aim the scientist claim is the province of science, is in itself a good

thing. This inherent implication of the scientist’s claim is perhaps more reasonably

180

understood in the language of Black (1975) who draws a distinction between the pursuit of

knowledge as information and knowledge as understanding. He points out that the collection

of information in itself is a product of value judgements. Better still, human interaction has it

on record that science (or at least its application) could be a power for good or evil.

Indeed, the interaction of science and technology considered in the last chapter attest to

this fact; science has been seen as the means of relieving human burdens, and this, and not the

disinterested pursuit of knowledge, has often motivated scientists. It is perhaps this idea of

science and technology and its impact on man and society, and the consequences of such

impact that Bertrand Russell provocatively remarked that in, discussing the effects of science

upon human life we have therefore three more or less separate matters to examine (1) the

nature and scope of scientific knowledge (2) the increased power of manipulation derived

from scientific technique (3) the changes in social life and in traditional institutions which

must result from the scientific technique demands. This chapter concerns itself with the

second and third matter.

The understanding here is that, man, aided by science and technology, has the capacity

to make or mar a world of his choice. Two issues arise from this. The first is whether the

world of man’s choice may be the best possible world and, or, the most desired world for the

greatest number of people. The second issue is whether such a choice is a free one or can be a

free one that is blame worthy. Bertrand Russell argues that:

In so far as he is wise this new power is beneficent; in so far as he is foolish

it is quite the reverse. If therefore, a scientific civilization is to be a good

civilization it is necessary that increase in knowledge should be

accompanied by increase in wisdom. I mean by wisdom, a right conception

of the ends of life. This is something science itself does not provide.

Increase in science itself, therefore, is not enough to guarantee any genuine

progress though it provides one of the ingredients which progress requires

(Russell 1962:ix-x).

The implication of this thinking is that science and technology is a mixed blessing.

Such an explosive impact has far reaching consequences which, according to Jim Unah

(1998:344), “potend good and bad for man; consequences that spell good and evil for society;

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consequences that snatched humankind out of the cruel forces of nature and yet threaten them

with collective suicide”. It means for us against this backdrop that science and technology

have both demonstrated that they constitute a double-edged sword, if man is wise in the use of

the instruments of his brains and hands, he would conquer nature and make it subserve his

essential interest. If, on the other hand, he becomes foolish, he would wipe out human

existence and the entire earth with its habitation.

Such is the nature of man that he can be described as a bundle of paradoxes, a being

empowered by God to create itself thus “you shall have the power to degenerate into the lower

forms of life, which are brutish. But you shall also have the power, out of your soul’s

judgement to be reborn into higher forms which are divine” (Ehusani, 1991:16).

This chapter is a critical exposition of the impact (positive and negative) of science and

technology on the human society. It argues that the phenomenal technological advancement

notwithstanding, our new world has seen “the emergence of the machine, and the

disappearance of the person”. i.e. science and technology have both healed as well as killed

the society.

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