In historian Lynn White's book, Medivieval Technology and Culture Change, he argues that various technological advances within the field of agriculture related directly to monumental social, economic, and cultural changes of Europe. Therefore, these technological advances and innovations led directly to Europe's rise to capitalism in modern times. White supports his theory by way of technological determinism, or the claim that new technology is the primary cause of change, regardless of where the technology came from. While technological advances and innovations are valued highly in societal, economic, and cultural changes it is important to understand both how the technology reached Europe, as well as other facets of change that may have contributed to Europe's rise to power.
In White's book, he specifically sites the importance of the heavy plow, horse collar, and use of horse power as key innovations that led directly to Europe's rise to power. However, what he fails to take into consideration as Blaut comments in his critique is the origins of these innovations as well as the geography of Europe during this time (pg. 34). Sadly, none of these criteria are taken into consideration given the entire support for his argument is the idea of technological determinism. With the blanket argument of technological determinism White has thrown out the idea of other cultures and .
society's innovativeness and fails to give credit where credit is do, while seemingly convinced that other cultures were not capable of such dramatic technological invention, or even the capacity of thought to create such innovations.
Rather than consider the likelihood of other cultures contributions to the rise of Europe White is blinded by technological determinism. As a result, he is unable to see that much of the technology that supposedly led to Europe's rise to power can be found in other parts of the world long before it shows up in Europe.