Technology is one of the core phenomena of modern society. As a result, it is a subject of philosophical inquiry. In order to understand its role in society, it is important to know its origins. This is especially true for technology as a cultural force.
Technology as a practice is concerned with the creation of artifacts. These are man-made objects with an intent to accomplish a specific purpose. Artifacts exclude waste products, as well as works of art. They also involve processes that are both descriptive and prescriptive.
The concept of technology has been criticized as value-laden. While there are various interpretations of the term, many authors argue that a technology is value-laden when there is no moral agency.
Many philosophers have argued that ordinary people should be included in the technological process. One of the first attempts to do so was by Francis Bacon, who wrote a novel called New Atlantis (1627) in which he characterized technology as a tool for expressing a belief in a rational design of the universe.
The question of moral agency has become an important issue in technological theory and philosophy. In computer ethics, this issue started with a debate over the role of computers. Since then, the discussion has broadened to encompass a range of technologies.
Although there is no clear-cut definition of the operational principle, it appears to have originated with Polanyi (1958). It is central to engineering design. Unlike substantive theories, which provide knowledge about an object of action, an operational theory is a theoretical explanation of how something works.