A Critical Review of Sharif' and Pitt's Models of Technology

Document Type : Research Article (Original Article)


1 Faculty member, Philosophy of Science Department, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Philosophy of Science Department, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Sharif and Pitt's models are based on two different definitions of technology: tools and using tools. Sharif defines technology as a set of enabling tools such as "techno ware", "human ware", "info ware" and "organs ware". On the other hand, Pitt defines technology as "humanity at work". Furthermore, Pitt uses his definition to suggest a specific model of technology which includes three distinguishable components: "first-order transformation", "second-order transformation and the "assessment feedback mechanism". This paper critically reviews both of these models. After explaining them, we criticize Sharif's model in the light of Pitt's model and show that Pitt's model provides a better understanding of technology-related facts. For example, we describe how Pitt's model can be developed to explain concepts such as technology control, soft aspects of technology, technology transfer and technological dynamism, while Sharif's model fails to do so. Next, we criticize Pitt's model. We argue that knowledge improvement in his model is controversial; Pitt's thoughts are not compatible with native knowledge and thus native technology. In addition, we are questioning the capacity of Pitt's model in describing technological phenomena. This model superficially analyzes the complexities of the assessment of technology consequents. Finally, we provide a list of minimal items which should be considered in any model of technology. Addressing these items is a task for all technology theorists.