I. Baseline Definition:
B. Ways of Organizing Society: Groups and institutions (such as family, state, corporation); social and political institutions. [Laws.]
C. Distinctive Techniques and Their Characteristic Products:
B. Culture constantly changes as old meanings are lost through forgetting and new meanings are acquired through discovery [and creation].
C. Meaning systems are negotiated agreements." The connection between symbols and meanings requires coming to agreement. Cultural meanings are common, shared, worked out together.
D. Different societies arrive at different systems of meaning [as well as institutions and techniques]. Creation of meaning is arbitrary [to some extent]. Cultural relativism.
1. What does schism between two cultures refer to? What are the two cultures? What is the nature of the "schism"?
2. Explain what is meant by the doers and the contemplators.
3. How has specialization affected both cultures?
4. If culture includes both technological and non-technological aspects, how might an ignorance of one aspect of culture lead to problems or be dangerous?
5. How should the two sides bridge the chasm?
6. What do the authors mean by ivory towers and doorless, windowless laboratories?
7. Which side do Watkins and Meador believe should make the first move? Why?
8. Have scientists and technologists traditionally been concerned with values? Explain. What do the authors say about facts and values?
9. What were some of C.P. Snow's conclusions about the schism? What had George Orwell said about the schism?
10. What general approaches with regard to values and purposes do Watkins and Meador recommend?
11. What happened when an English professor and the engineer co-author of Technology and Values held a seminar entitled "Values in a Technological Society"? How did their hopes differ from the actual results? What did the English teacher do that showed his lack of understanding?
12. How do feelings about technology affect one's definition of technology? [How does ignorance of technology affect one's definition of technology?]
13. How do the authors define engineering, science, and technology? How does their definition compare to Pacey's definition of technology?
14. What moral value is included in this definition?
15. How does valuing expedient action over contemplation affect thinking about and ordering of values? [What does this tell us about the basic problem of philosophy and science?]
16. How does Kurt Baier related values to attitude?
17. What is meant by improvement? What is good or bad? Do we need philosophy to tell us these things? [Who creates values? What is the role of philosophy with respect to values?]
18. Have computer technologies reduced individualism, freedom of thought, and self-reliance? Do you agree with the author's views?
19. Does changing technology alter values? How?
20. What, concludes the authors, is the challenge of modern technology?
1. Discuss the presupposition that technology means progress.
2. How, according to Marx, did this presupposition arise? How did early Americans view technology?
3. How did the new industrialists view technology? What beliefs did they promote to advance technology as an end-in-itself or to fill their pockets?
4. Did this faith in technology take account of social and political consequences of technology? Discuss.
5. What is meant by the technocratic ideal? What happened to humanitarian goals like justice, freedom, and self-fulfillment?
6. How did Emerson and Thoreau regard the new technology?
7. Where does this leave us today? Do we regard technology as an end-in-itself? [Do we believe in technological determinism or the technological imperative?]
8. Is technology a means? If so, to what end is it a means?
9. Does technology equal progress?