Open access


Jędrzej MALIŃSKI1, im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, Polska2

Technology – Applications and Evaluations

Publication language: Polish

Journal article

Transformations No. 1-2 (104-105) 2020 Publication date: 14 February 2022

Article No. 20220214163459904

Keywords: technika, technologia, technology, the history of ideas, technocracy, industrialization

Abstract In this paper I present a semantic and historical analysis of Polish words technika and technologia. An initial problem is the fact that both terms are often interchangeable. The blurry differentiation between technika and technologia is also present in different language – except for English. Given the contemporary English language dominance in culture one should trace how the notion of “technology” was coined in this language, in particular its US variant. Thus, we could argue that at least in 20th century the US context had a seminal influence on shaping language practices in Poland. The under-standing of “technology” in the 19th century US was rather similar to its European counterpart, however the term gained a wider social signification with the rise of Technocrats movement, initiated by Thorstein Veblen in the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. It was aimed at the differentiation of a prestigious “applied science” shared by engineers from the menial work of industrial workers and machine operators. I argue that this distinction is still present in the language and was also adapted in Polish. Nowadays, however, the ubiquitous technologia is used mostly as a tool to make its designates more prestigious, even if they are not necessarily connected with its original meaning.

  1. Zakład Historii Filozofii Nowożytnej i Współczesnej Instytutu Filozofii Uniwersytetu



  2. ORCID: jedrzejmalinski@gmail.com