Ellul and technique


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Ellul and technique

  1. 1. Ellul and Technique Dr. R Redekopp
  2. 2. Definition <ul><li>&quot;In our technological society, technique is the totality of methods rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency (for a given stage of development) in every field of human activity. Its characteristics are new; the technique of the present has no  common measure with that of the past.&quot; </li></ul>
  3. 3. Technique is not about machines <ul><li>Technique has taken over machines.  </li></ul><ul><li>Technique turns everything into machines. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Technique is not science <ul><li>Technique and science are not automatically linked.  </li></ul><ul><li>Technique has needed science to develop to feed it and then has turned against science. </li></ul><ul><li>Technique now limits scientific creativity. </li></ul><ul><li>Timelines have speeded up - science is no an instrument of technique </li></ul>
  5. 5. Technique is ... control <ul><li>&quot;the ideal for which technique strives is the mechanization of everything it encounters&quot; (p. 12) </li></ul><ul><li>Ellul examines the economy, the state and the human </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Man is not adapted to a world of steel; technique adapts him to it.&quot; (p.6) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technique is ... control <ul><li>&quot;The interval which traditionally separates a scientific discovery and its application in everyday life has been progressively shortened. As soon as a discovery is made, a concrete application is sought.&quot; (p. 12) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Technique is ... precise <ul><li>&quot;There is another element in this scientific attitude: only that is knowable is that which is expressed (or, at least, can be expressed) in numbers.&quot; (p. 18) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The 'scientific' position frequently consists of denying the existence of whatever does not belong to current scientific method.&quot; </li></ul>
  8. 8. Technique is ... limiting <ul><li>&quot;However what characterizes technical action within a particular activity is the search for greater efficiency.&quot; (p. 20) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; Thus the multiplicity of means is reduced to one: the most efficient. And here reason appears clearly in the guise of technique&quot; (p. 21) </li></ul><ul><li>The one best way for every area. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Technique is ... pervasive <ul><li>Intellectual technique: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic - production, org. of labour, economic planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization - industry, military, legal, commercial, ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human - medicine, genetics, propaganda, pedagogical </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Technique is ... belief <ul><li>Worship of technique - the mysterious power of our own handiwork. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>technique of machines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>technique of 'magic' or spiritual order </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The intermediaries between man and nature. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Technique is ... belief <ul><li>The technique of Magic </li></ul><ul><li>Usually not taken seriously - and yet this deals more with people than machines </li></ul><ul><li>A rigid system - take away on piece and you fear the entire system will collapse. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Technique is ... pervasive <ul><li>The Industrial revolution: </li></ul><ul><li>Machines </li></ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul><ul><li>A technical revolution - self aware states, in strategy, in logistics and in organization. </li></ul><ul><li>New systems, unified hierarchies, card indices, regular reports are applied to Everything including intellectual study. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Technique is ... controlled revolution <ul><li>&quot;The revolution resulted not from the exploitation of coal but rather a change of attitude on the part o the whole civilization.&quot; (p. 44) </li></ul><ul><li>Marx blamed the masters of technique for the problems of the workers, not the technique itself. As the masses fought against the masters, the technique took control. </li></ul>