The
Technological System

by Jacques Ellul

Translated from the French
by Joachim Neugroschel
English translation copyright © 1980 by The Continuum Publishing Corporation.
815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017
Originally published as Le Sytème technicien by Calmann-Lévy
Copyright Calmann-Lévy 1977


Introduction 1

Part One: WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY 21

1 Technology As a Concept 23
2 Technology As an Environment 34
3 Technology As a Determining Factor 51
4 Technology As a System 76

General Idea 76
Defining the System 82
Features of the System 108
The Absence of Feedback 117

Part Two: THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TECHNOLOGICAL PHENOMENON 123

5 Autonomy 125
6 Unity 156
7 Universality 169
8 Totalization 199

Part Three: THE CHARACTERISTICS OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS 205

9 Self-Augmentation 209
10 Automatism 232
11 Causal Progression and Absence of Finality 256
13 The Problem of Acceleration 283

Conclusion: Man in the Technological System 310
Postscript 326
Notes 327 [are placed at the end of each chapter]
Bibliography 361