Skip to main content Accessibility help
The Evolution of Technology
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 27
  • Cited by
    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    1991. List of publications on the economic and social histoy of Great Britain and Ireland. The Economic History Review, Vol. 44, Issue. 4, p. 683.

    Hodgson, Geoffrey M. 1995. THE EVOLUTION OF EVOLUTIONARY ECONOMICS. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 42, Issue. 4, p. 469.

    Harbour, Jerry L. and Blackman, Harold S. 2006. Innovation: The other “i” word associated with performance. Performance Improvement, Vol. 45, Issue. 2, p. 24.

    Flikkema, Meindert Jansen, Paul and Van Der Sluis, Lidewey 2007. Identifying Neo-Schumpeterian Innovation in Service Firms: A Conceptual Essay with a Novel Classification. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol. 16, Issue. 7, p. 541.

    Valverde, Sergi Solé, Ricard V. Bedau, Mark A. and Packard, Norman 2007. Topology and evolution of technology innovation networks. Physical Review E, Vol. 76, Issue. 5,

    Guchet, Xavier 2008. Évolution technique et objectivité technique chez Leroi-Gourhan et Simondon. Appareil,

    2008. The Performance Paradox. p. 163.

    Breslin, Dermot 2011. Reviewing a Generalized Darwinist Approach to Studying Socio-economic Change. International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 218.

    Zweck, Axel 2011. Innovationsbegleitung mit System. Zeitschrift für Politikberatung, Vol. 3, Issue. 3-4, p. 363.

    Haff, P. K. 2012. Technology and human purpose: the problem of solids transport on the Earth's surface. Earth System Dynamics, Vol. 3, Issue. 2, p. 149.

    Farago, T. and Miklosi, A. 2012. Cellphone evolution - applying evolution theory to an info-communication system. p. 763.

    Solée, Ricard V. Valverde, Sergi Casals, Marti Rosas Kauffman, Stuart A. Farmer, Doyne and Eldredge, Niles 2013. The evolutionary ecology of technological innovations. Complexity, Vol. 18, Issue. 4, p. 15.

    Svetinovic, Davor 2013. Strategic requirements engineering for complex sustainable systems. Systems Engineering, Vol. 16, Issue. 2, p. 165.

    Lam, Wengcheong 2014. Everything Old is New Again?. Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 70, Issue. 4, p. 511.

    Valverde, Sergi 2014. Evolution of patent citation networks. p. 1.

    Buning, Marius 2014. Between Imitation and Invention. Inventor Privileges and Technological Progress in the Early Dutch Republic (c. 1585–1625). Intellectual History Review, Vol. 24, Issue. 3, p. 415.

    Chakrabarty, Manjari 2014. A Philosophical Inquiry into the Character of Material Artifacts. Philosophia Scientae, p. 153.

    2016. Energy In Agroecosystems. p. 401.

    Breslin, Dermot 2016. What evolves in organizational co-evolution?. Journal of Management & Governance, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 45.

    Hochberg, Michael E. Marquet, Pablo A. Boyd, Robert and Wagner, Andreas 2017. Innovation: an emerging focus from cells to societies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 372, Issue. 1735, p. 20160414.


Book description

This book presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based upon recent scholarship in the history of technology and upon relevant material drawn from economic history and anthropology. It challenges the popular notion that technology advances by the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions owing little or nothing to the technological past. Therefore, the book's argument is shaped by analogies taken selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not from the theory and practice of political revolution. Three themes appear, and reappear with variations, throughout the study. The first is diversity: an acknowledgment of the vast numbers of different kinds of made things (artifacts) that have long been available to humanity; the second is necessity: the belief that humans are driven to invent new artifacts in order to meet basic biological requirements such as food, shelter, and defense; and the third is technological evolution: an organic analogy that explains both the emergence of novel artifacts and their subsequent selection by society for incorporation into its material life without invoking either biological necessity or technological progress. Although the book is not intended to provide a strict chronological account of the development of technology, historical examples - including many of the major achievements of Western technology: the waterwheel, the printing press, the steam engine, automobiles and trucks, and the transistor - are used extensively to support its theoretical framework. The Evolution of Techology will be of interest to all readers seeking to learn how and why technology changes, including both students and specialists in the history of technology and science.


Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive
  • Send content to

    To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to .

    To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

    Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

    Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

    Please be advised that item(s) you selected are not available.
    You are about to send

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed