The role of culture in the technological advancement process

AI and Society 7 (3):248-252 (1993)
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The role of cultural models in the process of adaptation to the new technologies is very different according to different civilizations. Some basic cultural items seem to be particularly crucial, such as, for example, the levels of pragmatism or rationalism which characterize a civilization or some periods of its history. This paper presents a sketch aimed at setting up a comparison between Western and Eastern cultures facing the problem of adapting to new technologies. The concept ofcold utilitarianism is introduced. It allows a way of defining adaptation which is only partial and contradictory in Western culture, while it completely describes, though perhaps provisionally, the Eastern way of making and using technology



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