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Philosophical Thought

To distinguish and clarify the concepts of "technique", "technology", "technical environment"

Rozin Vadim Markovich

Doctor of Philosophy

Chief Scientific Associate, Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences 

109240, Russia, Moskovskaya oblast', g. Moscow, ul. Goncharnaya, 12 str.1, kab. 310
Other publications by this author








Abstract: The article clarifies the concepts of technique and technology and introduces the concept of "technical environment". The author, based on his research, points to two lines of technology development: one uses the effects of the first nature and technical art, the second uses the effects of the second nature (collective activity and sociality) and technical art. Engineering is formed in the first line, technology in the second. The question is raised about the essence of ideas about the technical environment, which N. Berdyaev and M. Heidegger began to discuss. The author problematizes the concept of nature and tries to show that under certain conditions, analyzing the second nature, it is also possible to talk about laws. В  Discussing the concept of "technical environment", he turns to the analysis of two cases. The first presents the reconstruction of the formation of the ancient Egyptian pyramids, the second presents the development of electrical engineering. In both cases, we are talking about the formation of technology and the technical environment under the influence of not so much practical needs as the pressure of semiotic and cultural ideas. The author concludes that the space in which the main hypostases of technology converge and interact (technology as engineering and technology, as a technoprime, as an environment, as a field of activity) is due to the peculiarities of the first and second nature, while the development is the essence of technology, and it goes both under the influence of external factors and internal. One of the important conditions for the development of technology is the formation of meaning, which is associated with natural science research, engineering, technology, as well as social needs and requirements.


technic, technology, engineering, technical environment, development, culture, sociality, nature, activity, meaning formation

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One of the tasks of the philosophy of technology is to comprehend the concepts listed here. Modern philosophical understanding assumes not only the distinction of concepts describing some complex phenomenon (in this case, a technique), but also the establishment of connections between them, for which, in turn, it is necessary to find and characterize the reality in which such connections can be set. But the question is, in what reality can such different phenomena be prescribed: technology as tools, as mechanisms and machines, as a technical environment, as a technosphere, as technology; technology as an activity and as a technomir? Of course, the two central concepts in this "family" are technique and technology, but their distinction is a problem. "This discrepancy," writes, for example, D.P. Grant, "is found in the title of an essay on this topic belonging to our greatest modern thinker. Heidegger's work is called “Die Frage nach der Technik” (“The question of technology.” ? V.R.) English translation of the title “The question concerning technology" (“The question of technology”)... The very fact that it is a neologism makes one think of the unprecedented novelty of what it means... That the deployment of sciences will continue, turning into the conquest of human and extrahuman nature ? the essence of this whole process can be called technology ? is generally predictable. What in particular will be revealed with such a deployment cannot be predicted... "Technology" is not so much machines and tools as the idea of the world that guides our perception of everything that exists <...> At every waking or sleeping moment we experience, we can now fairly be called carriers of technological civilization and will increasingly live everywhere inside the shrinking ring of its power" [4].

   In my opinion, the solution of this problem, meeting modern methodological requirements, is possible only within the framework of the genesis of technology and technology. Having carried out such a genesis, the author managed to show the following.

(1) There have been two lines of formation in the history of European culture. In one, on the basis of mastering the effects of the first nature and technical art, engineering and a corresponding engineering understanding of technology have developed. In another line of development, technology has been formed on the basis of mastering the effects of the second nature (collective activity and sociality organizing it can be attributed to it) and technical art since the second half of the XVIII century [9; 10]. One of the first engineering interpretations of technology belongs to our first philosopher of technology, Peter Engelmeyer. "Nature," writes our first philosopher of technology at the beginning of the twentieth century  Peter Engelmeyer, ? does not pursue any goals, in the human sense of the word. Nature is automatic. The phenomena of nature are interconnected in such a way that they follow each other only in one direction: water can flow only from top to bottom, potential differences can only equalize. Let, for example, the series A-B-C-D-E represent such a natural chain. The actual link A appears, and the others automatically follow it, because nature is factual. A person, on the contrary, is hypothetical, and this is his advantage. So, for example, he wanted the phenomenon of E to occur, but was unable to cause it by his muscular strength. But he knows such a chain A-B-C-D-E, in which he sees the phenomenon A, accessible to his muscular strength. then he causes phenomenon A, the chain comes into action, and phenomenon E occurs. This is the essence of technology" [18, p. 85].

An example of the technological interpretation of technology is the concept of megamachines 1.0. and 2.0., proposed by Dmitry Efremenko. "Mumford," writes Efremenko, "used the term megamachine to describe the phenomenon of the combined action of political, economic, military, managerial factors united by the personality and will of the supreme ruler. First created in ancient Egypt, and then in other ancient Eastern societies, the megamachine was "an invisible structure consisting of living, but passive human parts, each of which was assigned a special duty, role and task so that the entire bulk of the collective organization would produce a huge amount of work and implement great ideas" (Mumford, 2001, p. 250). The megamachine of antiquity (in a modern way it can be called the megamachine 1.0.) served as a model for all later forms of mechanical organization. In this grandiose sociotechnical system, primitive technology mainly provided communication and enhanced the effectiveness of the living force and at the same time, in accordance with the will of the sacred personality of the pharaoh or another supreme ruler, imposed strict restrictions on the “human components” <...> The distinctive feature of the megamachine 2.0," writes Efremenko, "can be seen in the fact that that, although the organizing force for it is still the human will, motivated by ideology or considerations of military-political competition, the main components of this sociotechnical system are scientific knowledge, advanced technology and a developed industrial base, while the "human component" is designed to ensure its well-coordinated and effective functioning" [5, pp. 47, 48-49].  

Technology is formed as an activity (first production, then any) that satisfies market and other types of competition. This conditionality leads to the need to present and organize technological activities in the form of operations and conditions for their implementation, division of labor, management; at the same time, technology is characterized by attitudes towards quality, economy, standardization, rational description of processes, their optimization and restructuring, training of new technologists" [11, pp. 117-120]. In other words, technology is a special kind of social organization of activity.

   (2) In technology, tools, mechanisms and machines are used as tools, but this does not mean that technology is identical with engineering. However, in the twentieth century (for the first time in the framework of an atomic project), two of these lines converge and a "technomir" develops, in which technology develops due to the development of the effects of the first and second nature, the interaction of technology and engineering. Indeed, in order to create a domestic atomic bomb and reactors, it was necessary to solve not only a number of complex engineering tasks, but also to create, as necessary conditions for solving these tasks, modern mega-machines and technologies (new production facilities, institutes and collectives, train specialists, allocate the necessary resources, make political decisions, organize secrecy and espionage, and all this in conditions of fierce competition with the West) [17].

   (3) The concept of Heidegger's technique, Boris Kudrin's "technetics" or even Nikolai Berdyaev's earlier discussion of the machine and man is a view of technology from the point of view of its influence on man, as well as in terms of one of the modern mechanisms of its development, when the invention of a new technique entails the need for the following technical inventions. This approach allows us to talk about the "technical environment" of a person and if the self-movement of technology is interpreted within the framework of biological analogies, as a "technocenosis". Berdyaev wrote: "The domination of technology and machines is primarily a transition from organic life to organized life, from vegetation to constructiveness. From the point of view of organic life, technology means disembodication, a rupture in the organic bodies of history, a rupture of flesh and spirit. Technology reveals a new stage of reality, and this reality is the creation of man, the result of the breakthrough of the spirit into nature and the introduction of reason into spontaneous processes. Technology destroys old bodies and creates new bodies that are not at all like organic bodies, creates organized bodies... Technology replaces the organic-irrational with an organized-rational one. But it generates new irrational consequences in social life... technology wants to seize the spirit and rationalize it, turn it into an automaton, enslave it. And this is the titanic struggle of man and the nature he is technizing. At first, man depended on nature, and this dependence was plant-animal. But here begins a new dependence of man on nature, on a new nature, a technical-machine dependence. This is the whole torment of the problem... a person managed to bring to life, to realize a new reality. This is an indicator of the terrible power of man. This indicates his creative and royal vocation in the world. But also an indicator of his weakness, his propensity to slavery" [1, pp. 11, 12, 15].

   Speaking about the new reality, Berdyaev, and here his understanding of technology is close to Heidegger's "postav", interprets technology as an environment, on the one hand, providing almost infinite opportunities for a person, and on the other, depriving him of freedom, enslaving. Technique as a delivery and technocenosis differ, perhaps, in the levels of comprehension. "The technical," writes Kudrin, "generates the technical. This is a fundamental fact of our time... the technosphere is increasingly absorbing not only the biosphere, but also the anthroposphere. Heidegger's thesis about the transformation of nature and man into a “postage”, into a functional element of technology is not only confirmed, it has become commonplace ... having formulated the laws of technocenosis, we get into the hands of a scientific tool for forecasting and calculating technology. Technetics will allow us to manage the technical element, unless, of course, managers will listen to us" [6].

   So, it is necessary to distinguish technology as engineering, as technology and as a technical environment. But the first two understandings can be brought closer by considering what the second nature is, which includes collective organized activity and, in part, sociality as a condition of this organization [12]. On the one hand, it seems that when we talk about the second nature, we do not think strictly, but express ourselves metaphorically, because both activity and sociality are cultural and historical formations, the change of which is influenced, among other things, by man. For example, at present, under the influence of the technological revolution and the Internet, there is clearly a transformation of the second nature, which is greatly influenced by new ideas, inventions and human concepts. But on the other hand, within the framework of established cultures or formed institutional structures, stable socio-cultural conditions are also developing, allowing, as long as these formations remain, to still talk about the laws of activity and sociality. With the accuracy of this situation, it is possible to speak more strictly about the second nature. Another thing is that so far the laws of the formation, functioning and development of the second nature have not been studied even to approximately the same degree of efficiency and detail as the laws of the first nature are described in natural science. And it is partly understandable why, one of the conditions for such a study is an analysis of culture, history, man and society that meets modern methodological requirements.

So, if it is possible to identify the patterns of the second nature, the development of its effects can be put not only on an experimental basis, but also on a scientific basis, thereby creating effective social engineering. In this case, the concept of technology will receive additional justification: technology is the development of the effects of the first or second nature with the help of technical art, and the features of both (nature and art) can be described and constituted based on knowledge and laws of the first and second nature. Let us now bridge the gap from this understanding of technology to the concepts of the technical environment and technoreality. Here our main thesis will be that technology is also a special semiotic education. To understand this position correctly, let's first consider one case ? the history of the creation of the ancient Egyptian pyramids. Let's start with the formation of megamachines 1.0.

If we go from the consciousness of a person of the Ancient world, the megamachine 1.0. was understood (conceptualized) anthropologically and mythologically, namely, they are nothing but gods (of war, people, agriculture, crafts, love, etc.). But if we look for a rational explanation, we have to say that this conceptualization provided the emerging division of labor and collective activity, involving rigid vertical management [14, pp. 168-169]. Indeed, the main functions of the pagan gods are power and management in relation to man, the latter acted and lived in large collectives (army, construction, agriculture, etc.) with the division of labor. Cultural analysis shows that the formation of such megamachines began with the formation of meaning as a necessary condition for understanding. Here is a small cultural and historical reconstruction.

The archaic culture is on the wane (this is somewhere in the 8-5 millennium BC). Several friendly tribes exchange the products of their labor and hunting and increasingly resort to joint actions (protection from enemies or, conversely, an attack on foreign tribes). When making decisions, each tribe "asks" advice from its totemic guardian spirits, but in the case of joint plans, these spirits are silent, since they are not competent to act on the territory of another tribe. This difficulty is resolved when a tribe begins to assert that its totemic spirit (later it is called "god") decides for everyone. In accordance with this new meaning, the ideas about totemic spirits are being revised (they fade into the background) and joint activities are more successfully unfolding, but already under the guidance of priests serving the gods.

The forerunner of the division of labor were the roles of servants of the gods (priests) and those who led the army (kings). It was clear why it was necessary to obey and obey the priests (they knew the language of the gods and could act as intermediaries), but why was it necessary to fulfill the will of the kings? The solution of this difficulty in all cultures of the Ancient world was the same: the king began to be understood both as a man and as a god (another new meaning). The corresponding practice is the deification of the king. For example, in Egypt, the king (Pharaoh) ? this is both a man and a sun god ("Ra"). But the problems do not end there, a new difficulty has arisen: what to do when the king dies. As a man he needs to be buried, and his body rots, but as a god he is immortal. What does the death of, for example, Pharaoh mean in this case, and what should be done so that the sun god does not get angry and punish his subjects?

Judging by the archaeological data, for several centuries the Egyptian priests successfully solved these complex problems. First, they learned how to send the deceased pharaoh, a human, but a living god, to heaven, because he is the sun, and in an original technical way. The burial places of the pharaohs (later called pyramids) began to be made in the form of ladders (ziggurats) leading to heaven; for this, the pyramids were built more and higher, until they seemed to touch the sky. One papyrus has been preserved, where it says that the soul of the pharaoh goes to heaven along the pyramid.

So that at the same time the human pharaoh could get into the kingdom of death of the god Osiris, the pyramids were made monolithic, which looked like a hill, a mountain, an extension of the earth. The camera with the pharaoh's body was lowered as low as possible, it turned out that the pharaoh was resting in the bosom of the earth, where, according to legend, the kingdom of Osiris was located. The way to preserve the Pharaoh's body from rotting, as well as to make it as beautiful as that of the living god Ra, was, on the one hand, again a technical invention ? the mummification of the pharaoh's body, on the other ? an artistic solution (golden face masks, embroidered clothes, etc.) [14, pp. 37-47]. Let us now look at this cultural and historical reconstruction from a semiotic and technical point of view.

On the one hand, we observe the unfolding of a number of meanings (the idea of the gods, the king as a man and god, "the soul of the pharaoh walking along the pyramid to heaven", the pyramid as a ladder and the bosom of the earth, the mummy of the Pharaoh as the body of the living god), on the other ? a number of technical inventions (a megamachine of joint actions of friendly tribes, megamachines the construction of pyramids, the creation of which led to a number of other technical inventions ? processing of stone blocks, lifting them to a great height, mummification, etc. ? in short, according to researchers, a real technical revolution). The answer to the question of what is the reason for this technical revolution is quite obvious ? it is a cultural and semiotic process of meaning formation (resolution of emerging difficulties and problems that allows understanding), as well as the process of implementing new meanings by technical means. The function of technology in this regard must be understood dialectically: without technical support and the embodiment of cultural meanings, the latter cannot exist, and vice versa, technology cannot exist outside of meaning formation. On the one hand, the Egyptian pyramids as technical structures make it possible to understand and naturalize the meaning of "the death and continuation of the life of the Pharaoh", on the other ? it was the cartography of these new meanings that led to the invention of the ancient Egyptian pyramids. That is, if we summarize, briefly the semiotic meaning of the technique.

The concept of the technical environment can be revealed by reconstructing the semiotic meaning of technology, this meaning, in my opinion, well explains both Heidegger's delivery and the self-movement of technology in Kudrin's technetics. For example, to outline the understanding of the "explosion of technical development" falling over the last three centuries. The social relevance and semantic basis of this explosion is connected with the project of Francis Bacon. Two parts can be distinguished in this project. One attitude is to master nature, which, according to Bacon and his followers, will make a person powerful and happy, as well as provide the desired standard of living (welfare) of the population. The second part is the task of building natural sciences and new magic (engineering), as a necessary condition for mastering nature.  

In the work "The Great Restoration of the Sciences" Bacon writes the following. "We want to warn everyone in general to remember the true goals of science and strive for it not for entertainment and not out of competition, not for the sake of looking arrogantly at others, not for the sake of benefits, not for the sake of fame or power or similar inferior goals, but for the benefit of life and practice and so that they perfected and guided her in mutual love" [2, p. 71]. In the New Organon, Bacon asserts that "correctly found axioms lead to whole detachments of practical applications" and the true goal of science "cannot be other than endowing human life with new discoveries and benefits <...> The power of man over things lies in the arts and sciences alone. For they do not rule over nature if they do not obey it... Let the human race only seize its right to nature, which has been assigned to it by divine grace, and let it be given power..." [3, p. 95, 147, 192-193].

"The progress of the sciences (writes later one of the followers of the Bacon project, the philosopher Condorcet in the book "Sketch of the historical picture of the progress of the human mind". – V.R.) ensures the progress of industry, which then accelerates scientific progress, and this mutual influence, the effect of which is constantly renewed, should be ranked among the more active, most powerful reasons for improvement the human race." With the progress of the sciences, Condorcet associates an increase in the mass of products, a decrease in raw materials and material costs in the production of industrial products, a decrease in the share of hard work, an increase in the expediency and rationality of consumption, population growth and, ultimately, the elimination of harmful effects of work, habits and climate, lengthening the duration of human life…In the last chapter devoted to the tenth epoch, Condorcet outlines the main lines of the future progress of the human mind and the progress based on it in human social life: the elimination of inequality between nations, the progress of equality between different classes of the same people, social equality between people, and finally, the real improvement of man" [7, p. 149, 151-152]

If the meanings that determine technical development were associated with religious dogmas in the Middle Ages, and therefore technology developed slowly, then in modern times these meanings concerned nature and its mastery, which becomes the main task. "Art," S. Neretina notes, implying the transition to a new time, "then turns from a techne into a technique when she imagined her invention to be something only objective, devoid of a loving relationship to both the material and the subject?user, representing a kind of neutral knowledge. Theologians, philosophers and masters protected the world from it.  That is why the medieval world seems to be non-technical, stagnant, unresponsive to innovations, because we look at it from modernity, where there is an idea of its neutrality" [8, pp. 213-214]. "Let it be known," we read in one of the city chronicles, "that Walter Kezenger came to us, offering to build a wheel for spinning and twisting silk. But after consulting and thinking with my friends... the council found that many in our city who feed on this craft will die then. Therefore, it was stated that it was not necessary to build and put a wheel either now or ever afterwards" [8, p. 177]. S. Neretina comments on this famous example as follows: "technology or technical skill should not grow arbitrarily, but only taking into account the good of man ... the calculation was precisely for this good, and not only to reduce competitiveness" [8, p. 204]

The situation is fundamentally different in modern times. As the scientist studied nature, he discovered more and more new processes, on the basis of which the engineer, implementing the Bacon project, created the next engineering structures. At the same time, as a rule, for technical mastery of new natural processes, it was necessary to study the processes that cause them (factors and causes of new processes), and this, as a rule, did not end there. Here is one illustration ? our reconstruction of the formation of electricity (as engineering, technology, "techno-nature" and environment), based on the research of O. Simonenko [16].  

"P e r v y e t a p (1830-1870). The emergence of electrical inventive activity. Technicians master laboratory physical discoveries by empirically searching for appropriate constructive solutions; physical knowledge is a qualitative guideline in inventive work.

In t o r o y e t a p (1870-1890). The formation of electrical engineering as an independent branch of technology. A specific electrical engineering problem arises, in connection with which the need for special electrical knowledge is realized and specific research methods and methods of theoretical description are developed. These methods become models for the study of electrical devices…

T r e t i y e t a p (1890-1920). Expansion of electrical engineering into all branches of engineering and industry. Formation of electrotechnical science with a developed research apparatus, disciplinary unit, personnel training system" [16, p. 26].

At the first stage, strictly speaking, there were two main sources of the appearance of new electrical devices: physical experiments and direct functional tasks, for example, the need to create current sources, conductors, measuring instruments, etc." [16, pp. 26-27].    

Let us recall the works of Galileo and Huygens: natural science assumes experimental justification and orientation to technology, and that, in turn, uses the laws and knowledge of natural sciences. At the same time, when setting up an experiment, a scientist, firstly, splits the phenomenon under study into two components - an idealized process and factors that distort it, and secondly, in order to take these factors out of the game, he is forced to create and invent new technical devices. That is, natural science study entails the discovery and study of new and new interrelated phenomena of nature.

But the creation of a new technical device, as a rule, entails the discovery and the need to study new natural phenomena, because, when understanding why a new device does not work yet, an engineer often finds that he did not take into account such processes and such factors. In other words, the tendem "natural science research – the creation of a technical device" works as a generator for identifying new and new natural phenomena; in turn, their study is a source of new technical ideas. Thus, already at the first stage of the development of electrical engineering, a kind of "generator" began to operate for the detection and generation of both new natural phenomena and new technical ideas. 

After the 1870s, the established, still very undeveloped, electrotechnical practice begins to impose new requirements on scientific support, since by that time "it was possible to create technically and economically satisfactory electric current generators by trial and error and promising areas of their application were outlined (lighting, electrochemistry, transmission of motive power" [16, p. 27].

Creating electrical devices at this stage, the engineer did not find a ready?made theory, but he did not act in the old-fashioned way - by trial and error. The development of natural science, for example, awareness of the unity of nature and the discovery of the law of conservation of forces, in terms of mediation created the possibility of detecting new technical effects and, consequently, led to the formulation of new technical tasks (transformation of electrical processes into motion, work, heat, light, chemistry and vice versa, work into electricity). At the same time, the design of electrical devices during this period was already underway within the framework of engineering activities, which assumed the mandatory use of physics knowledge, if there were none, electrical engineers themselves filled this gap by becoming researchers. Moreover, it was necessary to investigate not so much pure natural processes as natural processes in invented or already invented technical devices. But electrical engineering is still understood in the Baconian spirit, that is, as a special case of "enslavement of nature".

The study of the formation of electrical engineering makes it possible to understand not only how "technical generates technical", but also to show that the formation of electrical engineering (as well as other areas of modern technology) involves the study of not only ordinary natural processes, but also human-controlled processes, and finally, in general terms, to understand how the "sphere of electrical engineering" is formed. 

Generally speaking, the technical generates the technical almost always. For example, the invention of the bow and spear required the invention of a shield and helmet as protection, the invention of iron led to the rapid displacement of bronze, etc., etc. At the same time, two different points need to be distinguished here. Firstly, new functional requirements that have arisen in connection with new inventions lead to the creation of new technology. For example, the invention of the steam locomotive led to the invention of rails, rails – sleepers, sleepers - embankments. Secondly, the need for new technology is conditioned by the interaction and competition of technical devices, when more efficient, convenient and economical displace less efficient and cheap. But it is worth noting that the last decision is still made not by the technology itself, but by a person and, so to speak, society.

We have already actually talked about how some electrical inventions gave rise to others: the invention of current sources required the invention of conductors, the invention of current generators and dynamos made it possible to create electric lamps and electrochemistry, the development of both made it necessary to invent devices for measuring current and voltage, and so on.

It is no less significant how the competition of electrical devices operating on direct and alternating current was going on. In this competition, as is known, alternating current won, which, in turn, made it necessary and allowed the development of systems for the transmission of electrical energy over long distances. "The decisive factor for the development of long-distance transmission, which ensured the preponderance of alternating current over direct current even before the creation of an asynchronous motor (1891), was the invention of a transformer ... through the efforts of AC adherents in the 1885-1890s, industrial types of transformers were created, their switching circuits were developed and AC installations were performed in which high mains voltage or the transmission line was converted to low voltage at the consumer…

In 1891, the Depford power plant, designed and implemented by S. Ferranti, came into operation for the power supply of London with a transmission line voltage of 10,000 V. For its time, it was a sensation, since voltages above 2000 V were considered extremely dangerous, "testing providence"…

The beginning of the 1910s is characterized by the emergence of power systems, the unification of power plants into single complexes due to power lines…The increase in voltage in the field of production and transmission of electric energy is due to the fact that the greater the voltage in the transmission line, the greater the power can be transmitted over long distances, that is, the radius of power supply of the power plant increases" [16, pp. 39-40, 41, 51] 

It is clear that the processes of "generation of electricity by electricity" described here are actually due to many factors: the action of the tendem "study of electrical phenomena – the creation of new electrical products", the expansion of the field of application of electricity, the formation of the sphere of consumption of electric energy, the rapid expansion of this sphere, state policy and others.

Since the second half of the twentieth century, in the presence of stable conditions (a formed sphere of consumption, mass production of electrical products, a system of documents – design and operational, regulating the production and use of electrical products, limited resources), electrocenoses are also formed, that is, peculiar populations of electrical products behaving similarly to biological populations (see more research and the development of the B. Kudrin school). Within the framework of electrocenoses, the electric generates the electric according to the laws of technetics. However, it is clear that the change in socio-economic conditions that occurred, for example, in our country during the period of perestroika, is detrimental to technocenoses: technical products cease to behave like populations with all the consequences that follow from this.

If we take into account that society is a special form of social life, that individual cultures resemble organisms (they have subsystems of life support ? this is the sphere of economy and various social institutions; a kind of consciousness and genetic code are semiosis and pictures of the world, the spheres of education and culture (see our works in more detail [69; 70]), then in addition to the concept of “technocenosis”, it is necessary to introduce the concept of “technogenic basis” of society. In particular, various infrastructures and networks, in particular, electric ones, act as such. Just as the blood and nervous system are organic subsystems of a biological organism, the technogenic basis acts as the organic basis of society (as, however, the creator of the philosophy of technology E. Kapp wrote about at the end of the XIX century).

But this means, in particular, that electricity obeys not so much the laws of the second nature, that is, the laws of technetics, as the third, that it is not only a technical and technological phenomenon, but also a social one. In my opinion, technetics is also trying to consider electricity in this regard, but not radically enough. It should be taken into account that the documents and technological conditions that determine the nature of technocenoses are conditioned by socio-cultural factors, therefore, technology and technology largely live according to social laws. The study of technology and technology as a social phenomenon should become the main one in our century.     

The formation of electrical engineering shows that its main objects of study include electrical processes and phenomena related to the functioning of electrical devices and their control (switching on, off, load redistribution, etc.). In other words, along with others, it is necessary to investigate, so to speak, artificial-natural (natural-activity) phenomena.

The rapid development of electrotechnical science and industry already at the beginning of the twentieth century leads to the formation of the field of electrical engineering, which includes not only science, engineering and industry itself, but also such moments as the formation of the electrotechnical community, electrotechnical education, communication and other structures necessary for the reproduction and development of this area of human activity" [15, pp. 176-199].

In my opinion, this case and reconstruction demonstrate three things: firstly, the space in which all the main hypostases of technology converge and interact (technology as engineering and technology, as a technoprime, as an environment, as a field of activity); secondly, that development is the essence of technology, and it goes as under third, that one of the important conditions for the development of technology is the formation of meaning, which in this case was associated with natural science research, engineering, technology, as well as social needs and requirements.   



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This article is devoted to the analysis and discussion of one of the key modern scientific terminological topics, the importance and relevance of which is constantly increasing with increasing introduction into our daily reality and socio-economic structure. If earlier the main attention in the philosophical and methodological reflection of scientific activity was focused on the relationship between fundamental and applied knowledge, then since the beginning of this century this discussion has given way to a discussion of the influence and implementation of such concepts as "technique", "technology", "technical environment". On the one hand, of course, there are relatively well-established definitions (although different directions have their own nuances and differences). Thus, technology is traditionally understood as a historically developing set of tools created by people (tools, devices, mechanisms, etc.) that allow people to use natural materials, phenomena and processes to meet their needs; often, technology also includes those knowledge and skills with which people create and use these tools in their activities. But today, the term "technology" is most often used to designate the relevant competencies, which is precisely understood as a set (system) of rules, techniques, methods for obtaining, processing or processing raw materials, materials, intermediates, products used in industry. Finally, the discussion of the complex technical environment has become a very fashionable modern trend. The technical environment includes the development of knowledge and its use in the "how to do things" variant. In a broad sense, it can be divided into the following areas: Research. Fundamental or basic research, during which the principles and dependencies underlying knowledge are found; Developments. The transformation of knowledge into some kind of prototypical form, Operations. The presentation of knowledge for its use in a form that other people can use. Very often they talk about such a phenomenon as the technological environment, which is considered as a necessary element or an integral part of the technical environment. The technological environment (from the English technological environment) is the factors determining the trends in the development of scientific and technological progress and related changes in the technological basis of production. Such factors contribute to the development of new technologies, that is, they provide an opportunity to improve existing production, release new products and, accordingly, apply new marketing opportunities. As you can see, depending on which methodological basis is recognized, it is possible to conduct an analysis in various research planes, which today we can observe in the research space; all this once again testifies to the importance and relevance of the raised consideration. The author uses a comparative historical approach to consider this issue, there is a reference to a large amount of literature, as well as an appeal to various research approaches, both coinciding with the author's position and opposing it. It is surprising, except that the appeal mainly to domestic sources, although the analyzed problem is presented and has numerous sources in world research approaches, where it is presented in much more detail than in the domestic analytical tradition. But perhaps that is why this work will be of interest to a certain part of the journal's audience, representing a critical review of a fairly large number of analytical traditions with a rich history.