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dc.contributor.authorShew, Ashleyen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T20:36:59Z
dc.date.available2014-03-14T20:36:59Z
dc.date.issued2007-05-09en_US
dc.identifier.otheretd-05152007-135849en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/32812
dc.description.abstractPhilosophers of technology have often considered only the tools and processes used and conducted by humans, but natural structures and man-made structures are not always easily discernable from one another. The complexity of a spider web is not matched by many human-made technologies. Beaver dams, beehives, and ant hills are great creations made by non-human animals. Davis Baird has argued that our scientific instruments bear knowledge in important ways, and the idea of technological knowledge bears interestingly on discussions of natural artifacts. Baird thinks his argument for instruments bearing knowledge can be extended, but how far can it be taken? Do â naturalâ technologies, like spider webs, bear technological knowledge of some sort? This move to consider whether natural artifacts might bear knowledge rubs interestingly against current definitions of technology which include human agency or progression as important. If we find that some natural artifacts seem to bear knowledge in the way Baird describes, technological knowledge would not be the exclusive domain of humans. Our current definitions of technology seem incongruent with our view of knowledge and our knowledge of natural artifacts. The purpose of this paper is to sort out the inconsistencies between current philosophical literature on knowledge and on technology. In sorting out the inconsistencies we find, I recommend a spectrum approach with regard to technology based on the epistemological status of the artifact. Using observations from anthropology and biology, I suggest a scale with regard to technological behavior, tool use, and technology.en_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.relation.haspartShew-Thesis07ETD.pdfen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjecttechnological knowledgeen_US
dc.subjectnatural knowledgeen_US
dc.subjecttool useen_US
dc.subjecttechnological behavioren_US
dc.subjecttechnologyen_US
dc.subjectspectrum approachen_US
dc.subjectepistemology of technologyen_US
dc.subjectphilosophy of technologyen_US
dc.titleBeaver Dams, Spider Webs, and the Sticky Wicket: An Investigation On What Counts as Technology and What Counts as Knowledgeen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentScience and Technology Studiesen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineScience and Technology Studiesen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairPitt, Joseph C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPerini, Lauraen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGoodrum, Matthew R.en_US
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05152007-135849/en_US
dc.date.sdate2007-05-15en_US
dc.date.rdate2010-05-30
dc.date.adate2007-05-30en_US


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