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The Evolution of Technology : Cambridge History of Science - George Basalla

The Evolution of Technology

Cambridge History of Science


Published: 7th August 1989
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This book presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based upon recent scholarship in the history of technology and upon relevant material drawn from economic history and anthropology. It challenges the popular notion that technology advances by the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions owing little or nothing to the technological past. Therefore, the book's arguement is shaped by analogies taken selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not from the theory and practice of political revolution.

"Mr. Basalla argues his case ingeniously and cites a variety of examples...the reader is astonished again and again at the ease with which Mr. Basalla overturns many cherished prejudices and preconceptions about inventors and their creations." New York Times Book Review "George Basalla has done scholars a valuable service...(his)own insights at an intermediate level of analysis may well provide the building blocks for a more rigorous and sophisticated theory of technological change." Science "A thoughtful and thought provoking analysis drawing on a wide range of historical examples that will be of use to scholars and students." - Science, Technology and Society "a refreshing book...a lively and revealing perspective on the history of technology. This book should find its way into undergraduate courses." American Scientist "Both the tech-happy and the tech-wary will find news in this view of technology as an evolutionary system. Fascinating case studies show how society-bending inventions - even 'breakthroughs' - proceed from small, incremental variations upon earlier inventions." Whole Earth Catalog

Diversity, necessity, and evolution
Continuity and discontinuity
Novelty: psychological and intellectual factors
Novelty: socioeconomic and cultural factors
Selection: economic and military factors
Selection: social and cultural factors
Conclusion: evolution and progress
Sources of questions
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521296816
ISBN-10: 0521296811
Series: Cambridge History of Science
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 260
Published: 7th August 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.5 x 15.3  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.38