Technology is the collective term for any new approaches, technologies, skills, or procedures employed in the creation of new products or services or in the achievement of specific goals, including scientific research. The term is extremely broad, covering a wide variety of activities. However, the technology itself is an abstract concept. It has been difficult to generalize it since many fields of science and engineering are involved. Nevertheless, there are broad categories of technological systems.
Knowledge is one of the basic categories of technological systems. Knowledge can be defined as a body of knowledge that can be verified or rejected. In simple terms, knowledge is scientific fact checked by some other form of knowledge. For instance, while physical scientists may not be able to verify the theories concerning the properties of light, they can use astronomical or space-based telescopes to observe and record the phenomenon. Technological knowledge is a collection of both physical and non-physical facts about the world around us.
Science is the basis of technology, and nearly all technological systems involve science. Practical application of science is required to solve problems and achieve progress. Technological systems have been developed and put into use to solve practical problems for humanity, as well as in other domains. Some areas of science, like mechanics, have become the object of professional study and research; others, like astronomy and paleontology, have not.
Technological systems are based on knowledge and need to be verified by some other form of knowledge before they can be applied to solve problems. This verification process is often referred to as “theory” or “expert-practitioner.” Many disciplines exist within the field of science that require theoretical learning in order to apply practical information. In many ways, the entire enterprise of technology is an exercise in learning. This is probably best seen in computer science, which has grown in response to a need for better methods of computer programming and design. The entire subject, even those areas outside of computer science, is an ongoing process of learning.
All forms of knowledge are objective and thus provide a basis for knowledge creation. Subjective knowledge, on the other hand, usually comes from the learner’s point of view and thus is necessarily subjective in nature. For example, most beliefs about the purpose of the universe are subjective. These beliefs are developed through the individual’s personal experiences and thus cannot be considered objectively true or false. Subjective knowledge is only useful to the extent that it can justify a person’s actions and choices and, if these understandings are adequate, can contribute to one’s sense of personal worth and the ability to cope with life’s challenges.
Scientific knowledge is important in the modern world in that it provides the basis for a person’s understanding of the natural world around him. It also allows people to measure their scientific knowledge, especially through the process of scientific measurement. Without this process, there would be no meaningful way to develop technology or to implement new technologies into human life. However, while science is important to the contemporary world, technological development is also an essential part of progress. As such, both science and technology have become significant influences on the technological processes and modes of production in modern society.