The Evolution of Technology (Cambridge Studies in the History of Science)

By: Basalla, George

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Condition: Near Fine

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A clean, unmarked book with a tight binding. 248 pages.

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Presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based on recent scholarship in the history of technology and on relevant material drawn from economic history and anthropology. Challenges the popular notion that technological advances arise from the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions that owe little or nothing to the technological past. Therefore, the book's argument is shaped by analogies drawn selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not from the theory and practice of political revolution. Three themes appear, with variations, throughout the study. The first is diversity: an acknowledgment of the vast numbers of different kinds of made things (artifacts) that long have been available to humanity. The second theme is necessity: the mistaken belief that humans are driven to invent new artifacts in order to meet basic biological needs such as food, shelter, and defense. And the third theme is technological evolution: an organic analogy that explains both the emergence of the novel artifacts and their subsequent selection by society for incorporation into its material life without invoking either biological necessity or technological process.

Title: The Evolution of Technology (Cambridge Studies in the History of Science)

Author: Basalla, George

ISBN Number: 0521296811

ISBN-13: 9780521296816

Location Published: Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 1988

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition: Near Fine

Type: Technical/Technology

Categories: Technical/Technology, Anthropology / Sociology

Seller ID: 153784

Keywords: anthropology, artifacts, automobiles, diversity, economic history, evolutionary theory, inventions, printing press, steam engine, technological change, transistor, trucks, waterwheel