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The Ongoing Technological System by Smaïl Aït-El-Hadjait

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1How Can a Technological System be Understood and Analyzed?

1.1. Introduction

Understanding the contemporary technological system does not simply involve a factual description of technologies, technical objects, products and services, but an understanding of this aggregate as an organized system. The technological approach as a system is built on the principle that the technological universe, this portion of human activity consisting of the appropriation of the laws of nature to transform nature and society, can be analyzed as an aggregate of specific laws of composition and evolution, forming an order and an organization, and further generating momentum and dynamics. This form has existed in the entire history of human technology, which allows it to be exposed as a succession of technological macrosystems, having their specific characteristics and specific evolutionary laws for a given historical period. The purpose of this chapter is to show what the foundations and the characteristics of an in system approach are and how it has made it possible to explain, in an orderly manner, the succession of historic technological systems up to the contemporary system. We will then focus the presentation on the technological dynamic and on the instruments used for the analysis of the movement of the technological system, i.e. the innovation momentum.

The concept of a technological system thus appears as an operative concept, which is useful for interpreting the contemporary technological ...

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