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
Perspectives on Global Development and Technology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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