Technology can be defined as the activity of creating artifacts. This can include physical objects, such as computers, or intangible tools such as software.
Generally, the relationship between technology and society is a co-dependent, synergistic or symbiotic one. However, not all technologies have been beneficial to the general welfare of society. There are technological processes that may deplete natural resources and harm individuals. Some technologies have been used for peaceful purposes.
The first half of the nineteenth century saw an enduring positive attitude towards technology. During this time, representatives of this attitude were schooled in the social sciences.
However, a critical attitude to technology swept the philosophical world during the late nineteenth century. A key early example was the famous Erewhon, written by Samuel Butler during the Industrial Revolution. In it, characters believe that the ongoing improvement of technical methods will eventually lead to a dominant machine.
Moreover, there was a robust discussion of foundational issues during this period. For instance, the invention of the wheel is credited with enabling humans to control their environment.
Technology has had a profound impact on our lives, both in the past and present. It has helped develop advanced economies and led to the rise of the leisure class. Today, modern technologies are so complex that entire industries have sprung up to create them.
Although not all technologies have been beneficial to the general wellbeing of society, there is no denying that they have helped make our lives easier and more convenient. Nevertheless, there has been criticism of their impact on the environment. Since the 1970s, clean energy investments have increased.