Is Technology Simply Applied Science?

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There is an enduring argument which maintains that science and applied science, on the one hand, and technology, on the other, are entirely distinct concepts and processes. Pure scientists, invariably, view technology as some kind of science less application of science; they reckon it as some kind of auxiliary science only if their scientific pursuits require inordinate assistance from new techniques and equipments which help with complicated measures and testing.


Technology, on its part, represents another level of replication and application and draws often from applied science. This level is mass based and commercial. It also has solutions of everyday human problems at the core of its emphasis. In fact the three concepts of science, applied science and technology can be viewed as sequenced concepts on a knowledge continuum with science at one end and technology on the other. This paper pursues this argument further and goes on to nail the distinction between applied science and technology.
The classical and conventional distinction between pure and applied sciences was best explained by Mario Bunge 40 years ago (Bunge, 1966, and subsequent revisions of Mitcham and Mackey, 1972, & Rapp, 1974). In this acclaimed write up the author proposed that one must comprehend engineering as a specific kind of applied science. Bunge clarified that it is not the objectives in terms of meeting differing needs which adequately explain the difference between pure and applied science, "but the limit must be drawn . . . ...
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