A Philosophy of Technology: From Technical Artefacts to Sociotechnical Systems
Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2011 - Technology & Engineering - 126 pages
In A Philosophy of Technology: From Technical Artefacts to Sociotechnical Systems, technology is analysed from a series of different perspectives. The analysis starts by focussing on the most tangible products of technology, called technical artefacts, and then builds step-wise towards considering those artefacts within their context of use, and ultimately as embedded in encompassing sociotechnical systems that also include humans as operators and social rules like legislation. Philosophical characterisations are given of technical artefacts, their context of use and of sociotechnical systems. Analyses are presented of how technical artefacts are designed in engineering and what types of technological knowledge is involved in engineering. And the issue is considered how engineers and others can or cannot influence the development of technology. These characterisations are complemented by ethical analyses of the moral status of technical artefacts and the possibilities and impossibilities for engineers to influence this status when designing artefacts and the sociotechnical systems in which artefacts are embedded. The running example in the book is aviation, where aeroplanes are examples of technical artefacts and the world aviation system is an example of a sociotechnical system. Issues related to the design of quiet aeroplane engines and the causes of aviation accidents are analysed for illustrating the moral status of designing, and the role of engineers therein. Table of Contents: Technical Artefacts / Technical Designing / Ethics and Designing / Technological Knowledge / Sociotechnical Systems / The Role of Social Factors in Technological Development / Ethics and Unintended Consequences of Technology
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able aeroplane engines air traffic controllers Airbus Airbus A380 aircraft aspects assertions autonomous become behaviour Caroline Baillie Chapter characterisation civil aviation system components context contextual boundary conditions control-volume analysis core activity described description DS design artefacts design process energy example existing flying fulfil its function function F goals important innovative instance instructions jet engine kilometres per hour kinds materialisation phase matter means morally acceptable natural objects neutrality thesis normal configurations norms operational principle organisations passengers penny-farthing philosophical Philosophy of Technology physical objects physical properties physical structure physical-technical pilots plan analysis plane practical produce radical designing realise regulative framework relevant responsible risks role rules safety scientific knowledge scientists social constructivists social groups social objects society sociotechnical systems specific speed subfunctions TCAS technical artefacts technical designing technical function technological determinism technological development technological knowledge technological systems theory thrust reverser transport turbofan unintended consequences users variant