Ignorance and uncertainty: Influences on future-oriented technology analysis

Denis Loveridge, Ozcan Saritas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Future-oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) deals in phenomenological ignorance of three kinds (known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns) that give rise to its basis in subjective opinion. These invade both the qualitative and quantitative information co-joined to create outcomes for policy and management in all the STEEPV (Social, Technological, Economic, Ecology, Politics and Values and Norms) themes. FTA then becomes an imaginative projection of current knowledge in which formal methods/techniques play a subsidiary role following Wittgenstein's dictum that 'methods pass the problem by'. These contentious matters form a platform for discussion, concluding that FTA's practical outcomes are underlain by human behaviour, subsumed under subjective opinion in many dimensions and will be more so as FTA becomes involved with technologies of great social and commercial complexity. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-767
Number of pages14
JournalTechnology Analysis and Strategic Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • future-oriented technology analysis
  • ignorance
  • methods
  • qualitative
  • quantitative
  • uncertainty


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