Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorHeflin, Ashley Shewen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T21:10:08Z
dc.date.available2014-03-14T21:10:08Z
dc.date.issued2011-03-15en_US
dc.identifier.otheretd-03282011-010942en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/37512
dc.description.abstractPhilosophers, historians of technology, and anthropologists often offer accounts of technology that include a â human clause,â some phrase to the effect that only humans use or make technologies. When these academics do consider tool use, they refer to a few cases, usually from chimpanzee studies, as special and unusual in the animal kingdom and whose similarities to human tool use can be explained through some shared evolutionary heritage. However, new observational and laboratory animal studies demonstrate that tool use and the use of learned techniques are actually more widespread than many scholars have appreciated, encompassing the behaviors of dolphins, crows, gorillas, and octopuses. Some studies have shown that even species that are not known to produce tools in the wild can, in the right contexts, produce and use tools as capably as related species that do employ tools. Some of the non-human animals' tool use and manufacture indicates learned components, shared material cultures, innovation, an understanding of 'folk' physics and causal reasoning, the standardization of tools, and the use of metatools. This dissertation involves a reflection on these new animal studies cases: what they might indicate, how they relate to concepts used in defining technology (and humanity), how they might disrupt human-centered models of technology. This dissertation also provides a framework for considering these animal cases within the context of technological knowledge, one important concept in philosophy of technology. To highlight the relationships between two different approaches to technological knowledge, this project introduces a graphical model for considering animal cases alongside human technologies; mapping individual technologies and techniques in terms of technological know-how and encapsulation of information allow for the additional consideration of animal constructions â webs, nests, dams, etc. â alongside animal tool use and human technologies. By categorizing non-human animal constructions, tool use, and technology along the same axes, we see that the individual material products of humans and non-humans are often a matter of degree, and not a matter of kind. Animal constructions and tool use can be productively incorporated into philosophy of technology.en_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.relation.haspartHeflin_AS_D_2011.docen_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.subjectanimal architectureen_US
dc.subjectanimal tool useen_US
dc.subjectknow howen_US
dc.subjectepistemology of technologyen_US
dc.titleA Unifying Account of Technological Knowledge: Animal Construction, Tool Use, and Technologyen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.contributor.departmentScience and Technology Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairPitt, Joseph C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHirsh, Richard F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBurian, Richard M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBaird, Davisen_US
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-03282011-010942/en_US
dc.date.sdate2011-03-28en_US
dc.date.rdate2011-05-03
dc.date.adate2011-05-03en_US


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record