Course details

History and Philosophy of Technology

FIT Acad. year 2010/2011 Winter semester 3 credits

Current academic year

The course "History and Philosophy of Technology" represents an introduction into the particular stages of development of the technology with respect to the surrounding cultural climate and the philosophical streams on the background of which these particular chapters of the history take place. The course deals also with the risk factors the civilization brings about, and suggestions are given how to overcome them.


Language of instruction



Credit (written)

Time span

26 hrs exercises


Subject specific learning outcomes and competences

The information transferred should provide the students with the knowledge of the amazing drama hidden behind an apparently cold and non-personal phenomenon of technology. The purpose is to establish links to the specific engineering subjects and to other branches of the culture.

Learning objectives

The target of the course is to instigate in the listener the awareness of glorious and many thousand years long history of the technology, and to give him/her the knowledge of relationships with the entity of human culture and the resulting ethical responsibility of any individual to whom technology should become a vocation.

Prerequisite kwnowledge and skills

No prerequisity knowledge is called for.

Study literature

  • Lilley: Stroje a lidé v dějinách. Praha, 1973 (in Czech) 
  • Jílek: Zrození velkých vynálezů. Praha, 1988 (in Czech) 
  • Marshall: Po stopách lidského pokroku. Praha, 1932 (in Czech)

Fundamental literature

  • Bernal: Věda v dějinách. Praha, 1960 (in Czech) 
  • Numford: Technika a civilizace. Praha, 1947 (in Czech) 
  • Nový: Dějiny techniky v Československu do 18. století. Praha, 1974 (in Czech)

Syllabus of seminars

  • Since the earliest industry to megalithic constructions.
  • The antiquity and the helenistic science and technology
  • Medieval age - technology in the shade of cathedrals
  • Renaissance engineers - new image of the world
  • Long way to steam engine
  • Industrial revolution in England
  • Meeting point between science and technology
  • Combustion engine, turbine and new potentials
  • Electrical energy from Thalet to Coulomb
  • Galvani and the others
  • Electromotoric principle comes into the world
  • The history of data transmission until the spark telegraphy
  • Inventors activities and the related ethical issues of today

Exam prerequisites

Presence at the lectures with passing the test and furnishing a written work.

Course inclusion in study plans

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