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What is a “Technology”?

To Wikipedia, a decent definition of “technology” has been posted,

Technology is the making, usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose.

Yes, the concept of “technology” is as general as that.  With patents in mind, can a “technology” be a pure product of the mind?  As an example, is an epistemological framework a technology?  What is a “tool”?

Regardless of the assumption or rejection of metaphysical dualism, is the mind itself not a tool?  Is the mind not a collection of matter and states which can be manipulated by human agency to achieve a goal of that agency?  If self-reference is where we draw the line at “abstract idea” versus technology, where does self-reference end and the “world” begin?  Are arms and legs tools, or merely “self”?

If I could take a pill which would transform one of my eyes into a Steve Austin, bionic “super eye”, is that eye merely “me” or is it a technology?  If I were to integrate nano-scale technology into my physiology, does that nano-scale technology cease to be a technology and become “me”?  What if the DNA of a future child were to be manipulated so that, once that child was born, their body would be impregnated with a technology produced by the programming of that child’s DNA?  Would the programming itself be a considered a technology?

I reject metaphysical dualism.  The biological “brain”, the epistemological mind and the non-nervous aspects of the human body are one.  No separation exists.  I am tempted to say that any goal-suiting change we might make to any state of matter, even the memories of our minds actively created, are technologies.  This line of reasoning points the way to a future state of absurdity with regard to United States patent law.  Either, one day, the prohibition against patenting “abstract ideas” will be lifted, or the entire patent regime will crumble.  I am not sure which.


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