World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0021226469
Reproduction Date:

Title: Technocentrism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Technology, Technological fix, Philosophy of technology, Technological utopianism, Chemical engineering
Collection: Environmentalism, Green Politics, Ideologies, Philosophy of Technology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Technocentrism is a term that denotes a value system that is centered on technology and its ability to control and protect the environment. Technocentrics have absolute faith in technology and industry and firmly believe that humans have control over nature. Although technocentrics may accept that environmental problems exist, they do not see them as problems to be solved by a reduction in industry. Rather, environmental problems are seen as problems to be solved using science and technology. They also believe in scientific research. Indeed, technocentrics see the way forward for both developed and developing countries, and the solutions to environmental problems, as lying in scientific and technological advancement (sometimes referred to as sustainopreneurship).[1]

Technocentrism is often contrasted with ecocentrism. Ecocentrics, including deep ecologists, see themselves as being subject to nature, rather than in control of it. They lack faith in modern technology and the bureaucracy attached to it. Ecocentrics will argue that the natural world should be respected for its processes and products, and that low-impact technology and self-sufficiency is more desirable than technological control of nature.[1]

Technocentrism may also refer to a worldview that revolves around technology. Many children today could be considered to be technocentric since that is the way they oftentimes learn new information and interact with the world.


  • Origin of term 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Origin of term

The term was claimed to have been coined by Seymour Papert in 1987 as a combination of techno- and egocentrism:[2]

I coined the word technocentrism from Piaget's use of the word egocentrism. This does not imply that children are selfish, but simply means that when a child thinks, all questions are referred to the self, to the ego. Technocentrism is the fallacy of referring all questions to the technology.[2]
However, references to technocentrism date back well before this (see, for example[3] and[4]). Among the earliest references cited by O'Riordan in his book "Environmentalism" (which includes extensive discussion of ecocentric and technocentric modes of thought) is that of Hays in 1959[5] where technocentrism is characterised as:
The application of rational and 'value-free' scientific and managerial techniques by a professional elite, who regarded the natural environment as 'neutral stuff' from which man could profitably shape his destiny.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Ecocentrism & Technocentrism". 
  2. ^ a b Seymour Papert. "A Critique of Technocentrism in Thinking About the School of the Future". 
  3. ^ O’Riordan, T. 1981. Environmentalism. Pion Books, London.
  4. ^ O’Riordan, T. 1981. Ecocentrism and Technocentrism. (pp. 32-40) In Smith, MJ (ed) Thinking through the Environment. A Reader. Open University Press, Routledge and Milton Keynes, London.
  5. ^ Hays, S. 1959. Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

External links

  • The dictionary definition of technocentrism at Wiktionary
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.