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Technological Autonomy

  • By: Susana Nascimento
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

The central role and influence of technology in society has been considerably disputed and is still one of the prime debates in science and technology studies. Within this context, the notion of technological autonomy is particularly controversial due to its portrayal of a self-directing phenomenon that prevails over other factors. Rather than a mere product of human action, technology is presented as a self-generating, self-controlling, self-propelling, self-perpetuating, and self-expanding force. It is seen for the most part as independent from, or out of, human control, and conducting its operations with regard to its own internal needs and dynamics. A large number of social thinkers, writers, and philosophers have worked on this concept of a self-governed technology, usually criticizing its devastating effects as well as its ...

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