Technology and Society
Reading – 7 Techniques
This article by Jacques Ellul on Techniques is very fascinating. The writer discusses of machines and its relationship with technique which has been described nicely. Technique is a way of doing something that fulfills a goal or an aim, in an organized manner. It is an art to do the work in a very meaningful and efficient way to reach the best results. Early civilizations have seen the man growing up in many aspects, this approach and ability to invent new things is called ‘technique’.
The term Techniques is greatly confused with either science or machines. Both rely on the term Technique for their existence and to some extent depend on it. But technique itself is independent and is not referred only to machines and science. Today we cannot think about life without machines. Technique is a vital tool that integrates the machine into society. We cannot use Machines without a proper technique. They have made our lives so dependable and comfortable that we just can’t dream of living without these machines at all. But actually this is not so we have just become slaves to these machines. We are ignoring the basic fact that these have some side effects which in turn harms its users dramatically.
The second aspect in this article, Ellul also discussed is the “relation between science and technique”. It is quiet often believed that science precedes technique but that is not true according to the author, it is the technique that has led science to reach such great heights. Science and technique have a very thin horizon that separates them from each other. “Technique began to develop and extend itself only after science appeared; to progress, technique had to wait for science. Technique by means of repeated experiments, posed the problems, derived general notions and the four primary elements: but it had to wait for the solutions – which science provided.” Pg (7), “When the technical means do not exist, science does not advance.”Pg (8)
The author has divided technique into 3 major fields’ basically; economic technique – related to production, technique of organization – it applied not only to commercial and industrial but also to warfare, legal fields and human...