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Der 16. Weltkongress für Philosophie

Volume 2, 1983

Sektions-Vorträge I - Résumés des sections I - Section Papers I

Stanley R. Carpenter
Pages 314-321

The Problematic Character of Technology Assessment

The international technology assessment movement represents a noteworthy attempt at understanding and mastery of technological progress by modem industrial society. This paper explains why Technology Assessment (TA) has enjoyed marginal success. TA has patterned its methodology after the technologies it must evaluate. More fundamentally it has sought philosophical support from the same positivistic assumptions on which science based technology is grounded. Because positivism perpetuates the error that scientific technology is intelligible in terms independent of the political and economic context, TA itself is deprived of substantive criteria which could form the basis of a critique of technology.