Technology as “Applied Science”|Quick homework help

Posted: March 14th, 2023

Please answer these questions in paragraph form using my included article, and outside sources. Please paraphrase instead of quotation marks. Please make it about 800 words long.

i. How does he define pure science, applied science and technology?
ii. What is his definitions of technological theories (substantive and operative)
iii. What are the characteristics of substantive and operative theories?
iv. Why he claims that the technological theories are less deep than scientific

Deadlines from 1 hour
Get A+ help
with any paper

Technology as Applied Science Author(s): Mario Bunge Source: Technology and Culture, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Summer, 1966), pp. 329-347 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press and the Society for the History of Technology Stable URL: Accessed: 30-09-2019 20:14 UTC

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide

range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and

facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at

Terms and Conditions of Use

The Johns Hopkins University Press, Society for the History of Technology are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Technology and Culture

This content downloaded from on Mon, 30 Sep 2019 20:14:07 UTC All use subject to

Technology as Applied Science


The application of the scientific method and of scientific theories to the attainment of practical goals poses interesting philosophical prob- lems, such as the nature of technological knowledge, the alleged validat- ing power of action, the relation of technological rule to scientific law, and the effects of technological forecast on human behavior. These problems have been neglected by most philosophers, probably because the peculiarities of modern technology, and particularly the differences between it and pure science, are realized infrequently and cannot be realized as long as technologies are mistaken for crafts and regarded as theory-free. The present paper deals with those problems and is there- fore an essay in the nearly non-existent philosophy of technology.

Science: Pure and Applied

The terms “technology” and “applied science” will be taken here as synonymous, although neither is adequate: in fact, “‘technology” sug- gests the study of practical arts rather than a scientific discipline, and “applied science” suggests the application of scientific ideas rather than that of the scientific method. Since “technique” is ambiguous and “epis- technique” unborn, we shall adopt the current lack of respect for ety- mology and go over to more serious matters. The method and the theories of science can be applied either to in-

creasing our knowledge of the external and the internal reality or to enhancing our welfare and power. If the goal is purely cognitive, pure science is obtained; if primarily practical, applied science. Thus, where- as cytology is a branch of pure science, cancer research is one of applied research. The chief divisions of contemporary applied science are the physical technologies (e.g., mechanical engineering), the bio- logical technologies (e.g., pharmacology), the social technologies (e.g., operations research), and the thought technologies (e.g., computer sci- DR. BUNGE, a theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, was formerly a pro-

fessor at the University of Buenos Aires; during the academic year 1965-66, he has been visiting at the Institut fur theoretische Physik at the University of Freiburg, and in 1967 he will be at Yale University. He is the author of Causality, The Myth of Simplicity, and other books, including a forthcoming two-volume work entitled Scientific Research.


This content downloaded from on Mon, 30 Sep 2019 20:14:07 UTC All use subject to

330 Mario Bunge

ence). In many cases technology succeeds a craft: it solves some of the latter’s problems by approaching them scientifically. In other cases, par- ticularly those of the social and thought technologies, there is no ante- cedent prescientific skill because the problems themselves are new. But in every case a distinction must be made between artisanal knowledge and scientific knowledge, as well as between pure research, applied re- search, and the applications of either to action.

The division of science into pure and applied is often challenged on the ground that all research is ultimately oriented toward satisfying needs of some sort or other. But the line must be drawn if we want to account for the differences in outlook and motivation between the in-

vestigator who searches for a new law of nature and the investigator who applies known laws to the design of a useful gadget: whereas the former wants to understand things better, the latter wishes to improve our mastery over them. At other times the difference is acknowledged, but it is claimed that applied science is the source of pure science rather than the other way around. Clearly, though, there must be some knowl- edge before it can be applied, unless it happens to be a skill or know- how rather than conceptual knowledge.

What is true is that action-industry, government, warfare, education, etc.-often poses problems that can be solved only by pure science. And if such problems are worked out in the free and lofty spirit of pure science, the solutions to them eventually may be applied to the attain- ment of practical goals. In short, practice is one of the sources of scien- tific problems, the other being sheer intellectual curiosity. But giving birth is not rearing. A whole cycle must be performed before anything comes out from practice: Practice -> Scientific Problem -> Scientific Research (statement and checking of hypotheses) -> Rational Action. Even so, this is far from being the sole way in which scientific research and action mingle. Ever since theoretical mechanics began, in the eighteenth century, to shape industrial machinery, scientific ideas have been the main motor and technology their beneficiary. Since then, intel- lectual curiosity has been the source of most, and certainly of all impor- tant, scientific problems; technology has often followed in the wake of pure research, with a decreasing time lag between the two.

This is not to debase applied science but to recall how rich its con- ceptual background is. In applied science a theory is not only the sum- mit of a research cycle and a guide to further research; it is also the basis of a system of rules prescribing the course of optimal practical action. On the other hand, in the arts and crafts theories are either absent or

instruments of action alone. In past epochs a man was regarded as prac- tical if, in acting, he paid little or no attention to theory or if he relied

This content downloaded from on Mon, 30 Sep 2019 20:14:07 UTC All use subject to

Technology as Applied Science

on worn-out theories and common knowledge. Nowadays a practical man is one who acts in obedience to decisions taken in the light of the best technological knowledge-not pure scientific knowledge, because this is mostly remote from or even irrelevant to practice. And such a technological knowledge, mad

Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price: