Volume 48, 2008
Philosophy of Technology
Vitaly G. Gorokhov
A New Understanding of the Technological Progress in the Modern Philosophy of Technology
In the 17th-19th centuries human society formed the understanding of scientific and technological progress as continuous improvement of society and nature on the basis of the growing capacity of scientific knowledge of the world. This belief in continuous scientific and technological progress, absolutisation of a value-free scientific research, illusion of actual «creatability» of the world on the basis of the obtained knowledge resulted in emergence of a scientific religion, based mostly on the belief in the power of scientific knowledge and the progressive character of technological activity, grounded on this knowledge. There appeared an illusion that if technology has made the Man of an animal, then, combined with science, it could make God of the Man, the Creator of not only artefacts but of the matter, nature and life as well. There is no insuperable barrier, neither in experimental physical science nor in engineering, between the Natural and the Artificial (the "second nature" created by human activity). From the Natural point of view, any natural or technical system is regarded as a self-contained object, an organism
developing in accordance with its own internal laws, whereas the Artificial point of view considers it a mechanism designed as a result of human activity. The task of philosophy is to open new possible worlds, new understanding of the world, to make them the people’s outlook and then embody them in reality. This fact inevitably influences philosophy of technology that is due to become not only a philosophic study of scientific and technological progress but also a new philosophy of technological sustainable development in the global world.