Download A Philosophy of Technology: From Technical Artefacts to by Pieter Vermaas, Peter Kroes, Maarten Franssen, Ibo van de PDF

By Pieter Vermaas, Peter Kroes, Maarten Franssen, Ibo van de Poel, Wybo Houkes

In A Philosophy of know-how: From Technical Artefacts to Sociotechnical platforms, know-how is analysed from a sequence of alternative views. The research begins by means of focussing at the so much tangible items of expertise, known as technical artefacts, after which builds step-wise in the direction of contemplating these artefacts inside their context of use, and eventually as embedded in encompassing sociotechnical platforms that still contain people as operators and social ideas like laws. Philosophical characterisations are given of technical artefacts, their context of use and of sociotechnical platforms. Analyses are awarded of ways technical artefacts are designed in engineering and what varieties of technological wisdom is interested in engineering. And the difficulty is taken into account how engineers and others can or can't impression the advance of expertise. those characterisations are complemented via moral analyses of the ethical prestige of technical artefacts and the probabilities and impossibilities for engineers to steer this prestige while designing artefacts and the sociotechnical structures within which artefacts are embedded. The working instance within the publication is aviation, the place aeroplanes are examples of technical artefacts and the area aviation method is an instance of a sociotechnical procedure. matters with regards to the layout of quiet aeroplane engines and the explanations of aviation injuries are analysed for illustrating the ethical prestige of designing, and the position of engineers therein. desk of Contents: Technical Artefacts / Technical Designing / Ethics and Designing / Technological wisdom / Sociotechnical platforms / The position of Social elements in Technological improvement / Ethics and unintentional results of expertise

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Extra info for A Philosophy of Technology: From Technical Artefacts to Sociotechnical Systems (Synthesis Lectures on Engineers, Technology, and Society)

Sample text

Designing is therefore an iterative activity or, in other words, an activity in which, step by step, engineers translate the goals of customers into functions F , convert those functions into descriptions DS of artefacts, construct those same artefacts, test them and ultimately produce them, while at every new stage being able to return to previous steps. In the engineering literature, technical designing is sometimes placed in an even broader context, which brings us to the second feature of designing mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.

Commercial aeroplanes are designed to transport people from one place to another and may not be used to attack people and structures in the way demonstrated on 11th September 2001. This latter example makes it clear that the improper use of artefacts can be deeply reprehensible, but that is not always the case. Many of us sometimes use screwdrivers improperly, for instance, to ease open the lids on paint tins or to poke holes in materials. This certainly is not in line with the purposes for which screwdrivers were originally designed, but in many cases the alternative use is handy and rational.

In this phase, there is a transition from the functional description of parts in terms of subfunctions to physical descriptions of technological components that can fulfil those subfunctions. 3. REASONING IN TECHNICAL DESIGNING 29 engineer can make use of existing knowledge about existing components and the functions that they can fulfil. Opting for normal designing does not actually imply that an engineer will be mimicking every single detail of certain previous designs. Existing designs are often protected by patents but can invariably be improved upon in the light of new-found techniques.

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