A new concept of technology with systemic-purposeful perspective: theory, examples and empirical application

Por • 4 oct, 2019 • Sección: Ciencia y tecnología

Mario Coccia

Although definitions of technology exist to explain the patterns of technological innovations, there is no general definition that explain the role of technology for humans and other animal species in environment. The goal of this study is to suggest a new concept of technology with a systemic-purposeful perspective for technology analysis. Technology here is a complex system of artifact, made and_or used by living systems, that is composed of more than one entity or sub-system and a relationship that holds between each entity and at least one other entity in the system, selected considering practical, technical and_or economic characteristics to satisfy needs, achieve goals and_or solve problems of users for purposes of adaptation and_or survival in environment. Technology T changes current modes of cognition and action to enable makers and_or users to take advantage of important opportunities or to cope with consequential environmental threats. Technology, as a complex system, is formed by different elements given by incremental and radical innovations. Technological change generates the progress from a system T1 to T2, T3, etc. driven by changes of technological trajectories and technological paradigms. Several examples illustrate here these concepts and a simple model with a preliminary empirical analysis shows how to operationalize the suggested definition of technology. Overall, then, the role of adaptation (i.e. reproductive advantage) can be explained as a main driver of technology use for adopters to take advantage of important opportunities or to cope with environmental threats. This study begins the process of clarifying and generalizing, as far as possible, the concept of technology with a new perspective that it can lay a foundation for the development of more sophisticated concepts and theories to explain technological and economic change in environment.

arXiv:1909.05689v1 [econ.GN]

General Economics (econ.GN)

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