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The Technological System [Le Système Technicien] - Jacques Ellul

The Technological System [Le Système Technicien] - Jacques Ellul

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Published by Impello_Tyrannis
Introduction:
TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
TECHNOLOGY is not content with being, or in our world, with being the principal or determining factor. Technology has become a system. This is what I will try to show in this analysis. But we have to be clear about the object of my research. Twenty-five years ago, I arrived at the notion of the "technological society"; but now, that stage is passed. Nevertheless, we are faced with the major problem of what makes up the specific nature of our society, its chief characteristic. Indeed, we have to track down the key to interpreting the modern age. But if we go through the field of definitions that are generally accepted today, we will see that every so-called specific trait is actually secondary and points ultimately to technology. Let us investigate.
The best-known definition today is by Raymond Aron: the "industrial society.” This term is very widespread, but I find it inadequate. Let us ignore the knotty question whether Raymond Aron is designating a model or the reality of our society. For a model, an ideal type, his description is rigorously exact, useful, and interesting. But it obviously does not correspond to present-day reality. In the nineteenth century, Western society was certainly an industrial one, and Aron is right in showing that once the industrial factor began to develop, it affected all societal relations. He is right in showing that the industrial factor led to a social model that was similar everywhere, no matter what the national traits, the political system, or the original differences. Now the industrial factor is characterized by the multiplication of machines and a certain organization of production. Both factors are technological. Today, however, the industrial factor may still be huge, but it does not have much in common with what it was in the nineteenth century.

Also Read: 'The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul' A more in-depth and revealing book on the use of 'technique'.
Introduction:
TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
TECHNOLOGY is not content with being, or in our world, with being the principal or determining factor. Technology has become a system. This is what I will try to show in this analysis. But we have to be clear about the object of my research. Twenty-five years ago, I arrived at the notion of the "technological society"; but now, that stage is passed. Nevertheless, we are faced with the major problem of what makes up the specific nature of our society, its chief characteristic. Indeed, we have to track down the key to interpreting the modern age. But if we go through the field of definitions that are generally accepted today, we will see that every so-called specific trait is actually secondary and points ultimately to technology. Let us investigate.
The best-known definition today is by Raymond Aron: the "industrial society.” This term is very widespread, but I find it inadequate. Let us ignore the knotty question whether Raymond Aron is designating a model or the reality of our society. For a model, an ideal type, his description is rigorously exact, useful, and interesting. But it obviously does not correspond to present-day reality. In the nineteenth century, Western society was certainly an industrial one, and Aron is right in showing that once the industrial factor began to develop, it affected all societal relations. He is right in showing that the industrial factor led to a social model that was similar everywhere, no matter what the national traits, the political system, or the original differences. Now the industrial factor is characterized by the multiplication of machines and a certain organization of production. Both factors are technological. Today, however, the industrial factor may still be huge, but it does not have much in common with what it was in the nineteenth century.

Also Read: 'The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul' A more in-depth and revealing book on the use of 'technique'.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Impello_Tyrannis on Jul 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/01/2013

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Jacques Ellul 
TheTechnologicalSystem
 
Translated from the Frenchby Joachim Neugroschel
1980The Continuum Publishing Corporation815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017Originally published as
Le Sytème technicien
by Calmann-LévyCopyright Calmann-Lévy 1977English translation copyright © 1980 by The Continuum PublishingCorporation. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without thewritten permission of The Continuum Publishing Corporation. Printed in theUnited States of AmericaLibrary of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Ellul, Jacques. Thetechnological system. Translation of 
Le système technicien
. Bibliography. 1.Technology and civilization. 1. Title.HM221.E4313 303.4'83 80-15344ISBN 0-8264-9007-4

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