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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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The acknowledged task of technology, it is said, is to lighten the burden of work man

has to carry in order to stay alive and develop his potential. On the face value, it is difficult to

fault this assertion. It is easy enough to see that technology fulfils this purpose when we

watch any piece of machinery at work; a computer for instance, can do in seconds what it

would take clerks or even mathematicians a very long time, if they can do it at all. This is

aside from the fact that one single crane can carry the weight which a battalion of soldiers

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cannot. Obviously, work is reduced, and man finds more time to rest, but it increases other

kinds of work. Most astonishingly, technology has “thrown the child with the bath-water”;

modern technology is most successful in reducing or even eliminating skilful, creative and

productive work of human hands and brains, in touch with real materials of one kind or

another.

Such glorification of the works of science and technology, we have argued, has

distressed, and destroyed man and society, and ravished the entire ecosystem. Virtually all

real production (resulting from technical activity) has been turned into an inhuman chore

which does not enrich a man but empties him. “From the factory”, says Schumacher, “dead

matter goes out improved, whereas men there are corrupted and degraded” (p. 146). Agreed,

man cannot live without science and technology any more than he can live against nature.

What needs the most intelligent and careful consideration is understanding the essence of

technology (in its forced revealing) and the legitimate role of human life in such revealing, and

discovering the essence of ourselves on earth and within our environment in the world. The

ingenious endeavours of man’s brain and hands should (must) be directed towards non-

violence, harmonious co-operation with nature, and towards the noiseless energy, elegant, and

economic solutions normally applied in nature, in promoting and protecting a sustainable

ecosystem.

Giantism, the characteristic description of modern technologists complexities and

excesses, in which accumulated toxic substances, and or wastes, may have no chance of

possible positive disposal at any date in human existence, thus committing future generations

to tackle a problem (if they can at all), which they do not know how to handle. Humanity, but

Africa in particular may be on the path of authentic human existence if it adopts the position of

a report on the control of pollution published by Her Majesty’s Stationary office, entitled

Pollution: Nuisance or Nemesis. It says in part,

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“it would be only prudent to slow down the nuclear power programme until we

have solved the waste disposal problem…that no more nuclear reactors should

be built until we know how to control their wastes (quoted from Schumacher p.

40)

The obvious conclusion is that, modern technology, which is founded on western static

metaphysic, promotes and protects violence, destruction, inhumanity, exaggerated

materialism, and so is one dimensional in outlook. Such metaphysical outlook has not, and

cannot engender progress and human development.

Our argued conclusion is that, African humanistic heritage, which ingredients and

concern for human behaviour and existence, is an important “better half” of what makes

human existence meaningful. It is thus at this point that we have advanced a philosophy of

appropriate technology as an alternative to modern (western) technology. Western (modern)

technology is not culture neutral, and so, even its transfer cannot serve the intrinsic needs of

Africans for want of cultural sameness, and it is bound to deliver him in the worst possible

way. Technology in its essence is far from neutral or merely an instrument of human control;

it is an autonomous organizing activity within which humans themselves are organized, and

not a means to an end. Understanding technology as a means to an end entails not only

decisively redirecting nature, but of consciously and actually setting-upon nature, which in

itself conveys an atmosphere of violence and exploitation, degradation and dehumanisation.

Such attitude to nature which find expression in modern technology as a “challenging-

forth” has thus instigated the withdrawal of the human agency from technology and in its stead

acquired an attitude of violence as the causal factors interplay. To that extent, science and

technology creates and sustain dangers and problems to the whole of creation for historical or

even geological ages. This is a transgression against the biosphere. It is here argued that no

degree of prosperity could justify such a transgression against life itself, which according to

Schumacher (p. 141) is more serious than any crime ever perpetrated by man. The idea that a

civilization could sustain itself on the basis of such transgression is an ethical, spiritual and

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metaphysical monstrosity. It means conducting the (economic) affairs of man as if people

really did not matter at all, with emphasis on money, profits, and therefore giant operations.

Heidegger named this context ‘enframing’ (Ge-stell). But, “where enframing reigns”,

he argues forcefully, “there is danger in the highest sense” (1979:28). This is because, the

entire nature; human, technology, in their essences are challenged-forth for revelation. The

true essence of nature is in its revealing, its bringing-forth i.e. of causation as Plato expressed

it in The symposium that Every occasion for whatever passes over and goes forward into

presencing from that which is not presencing is poiesis, is bring-forth (p. 10), where revealing

and unconcealment take place, where ale theia, truth happens (p. 13).

While not rejecting wholesale modern technology, we argue that the philosophy of

creative imitation is the best option. This is an argument to the effect that different human

cultures can contribute to progress and human civilization. Hence our association with

Professor Sophie Oluwole’s conclusion that, “global problems today call for solutions that

draw on the resources of different brands of thought” (1992:122), which may perhaps contrast

with Holderlin’s elegy “homecoming” i.e. return to our truly human nature.

Thus asserted, human development is, a “totality” of the human person; the dynamic

progression or upward movement in the spiritual, moral and material welfare of the human

person and of all the people. It is the maximal presence of the desirables on the one hand, and

maximal absence of the undesirables on the other; it is the progressive humanization of

society, and harmonious relationships between humans and nature. “Man (humans)

understood in this relationships”, is he who he is, heir and learner of all things”, and in the

thought of Holderlin, “a conversation” whose future lies in the discovery of his essence on

earth and within his environment in the world. (Heidegger, 1979:277) This, in itself, calls

humanity to a homecoming, i.e. bringing humanity back into its essence. As Heidegger

queries, “might there not perhaps be a more primally granted revealing that could bring the

saving power into its first shining forth in the midst of the danger, a revealing that in the

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technological age rather conceals than shows itself?” (Heidegger, 1977:34). Our next chapter

answers this question in the affirmative, that the saving power does exist to bring humans back

from the danger of modern technology, into their essence, a homecoming, a return into the

proximity of the source, the essence of being human that toward which humanity should work

for its good and being.

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CHAPTER SIX

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