Technology Development as Innovative Crisis: Georg Simmel's Reflections on Modern Science and Technology

Technology Development as Innovative Crisis: Georg Simmel's Reflections on Modern Science and... Technology Development as Innovative Crisis • 45 Technology Development as Innovative Crisis: Georg Simmel’s Re fl ections on Modern Science and Technology M  G  * A  This paper introduces some of Georg Simmel’s neglected re fl ections on modern science and technology and their impli- cations for the understanding of the development of technol- ogy in modern societies in general. Using Simmel’s perspective on the production of side e ff ects via accumulating non-knowl- edge as a touchstone, this paper suggests how unexpected occurrences can be incorporated into a model of scienti fi c and technological development that includes the re-cursive handling of “surprises.” Simmel, therefore, outlines his understanding of progress as an innovative crisis, where unexpected occurrences— both positive and negative—are positioned at the core of mod- ern science and technology and are not understood as mere side e ff ects. Introduction As far back as 1935, Ludwik Fleck in his now classic work, on the Genesis and Development of Scienti fi c Facts (1980), pointed to Georg Simmel’s (1858- 1918) illustration on social di ff erentiation as outlined in his book Soziologie (Simmel 1908). Fleck claimed that knowledge on the e ff ect http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Perspectives on Global Development and Technology Brill

Technology Development as Innovative Crisis: Georg Simmel's Reflections on Modern Science and Technology

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1569-1500
eISSN
1569-1497
D.O.I.
10.1163/1569150053888272
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Technology Development as Innovative Crisis • 45 Technology Development as Innovative Crisis: Georg Simmel’s Re fl ections on Modern Science and Technology M  G  * A  This paper introduces some of Georg Simmel’s neglected re fl ections on modern science and technology and their impli- cations for the understanding of the development of technol- ogy in modern societies in general. Using Simmel’s perspective on the production of side e ff ects via accumulating non-knowl- edge as a touchstone, this paper suggests how unexpected occurrences can be incorporated into a model of scienti fi c and technological development that includes the re-cursive handling of “surprises.” Simmel, therefore, outlines his understanding of progress as an innovative crisis, where unexpected occurrences— both positive and negative—are positioned at the core of mod- ern science and technology and are not understood as mere side e ff ects. Introduction As far back as 1935, Ludwik Fleck in his now classic work, on the Genesis and Development of Scienti fi c Facts (1980), pointed to Georg Simmel’s (1858- 1918) illustration on social di ff erentiation as outlined in his book Soziologie (Simmel 1908). Fleck claimed that knowledge on the e ff ect

Journal

Perspectives on Global Development and TechnologyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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