By Pieter Vermaas, Peter Kroes, Maarten Franssen, Ibo van de Poel, Wybo Houkes
In A Philosophy of know-how: From Technical Artefacts to Sociotechnical structures, expertise is analysed from a chain of alternative views. The research begins by means of focussing at the so much tangible items of know-how, 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 structures that still comprise people as operators and social ideas like laws. Philosophical characterisations are given of technical artefacts, their context of use and of sociotechnical structures. Analyses are awarded of the way technical artefacts are designed in engineering and what varieties of technological wisdom is thinking about engineering. And the difficulty is taken into account how engineers and others can or can't impression the advance of know-how. those characterisations are complemented through moral analyses of the ethical prestige of technical artefacts and the chances and impossibilities for engineers to persuade this prestige while designing artefacts and the sociotechnical platforms during which artefacts are embedded. The working instance within the ebook is aviation, the place aeroplanes are examples of technical artefacts and the area aviation procedure is an instance of a sociotechnical procedure. matters on the topic of the layout of quiet aeroplane engines and the motives of aviation injuries are analysed for illustrating the ethical prestige of designing, and the function of engineers therein. desk of Contents: Technical Artefacts / Technical Designing / Ethics and Designing / Technological wisdom / Sociotechnical platforms / The function of Social elements in Technological improvement / Ethics and unintentional effects of expertise
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Additional resources for A Philosophy of Technology: From Technical Artefacts to Sociotechnical Systems (Synthesis Lectures on Engineers, Technology, and Society)
The description DS is a description of an artefact for which the designer is able to technically justify that it can fulfil F . This justification may sometimes exist of giving a demonstration that a prototype artefact with structure S indeed is able to perform the desired function F . 1. CHARACTERISING TECHNICAL DESIGNING 23 further extend to, for instance, the necessary manufacturing facilities, including the technological infrastructure required for maintenance and repair. Methodologically, and in terms of timeframes, the core activity of designing is not, moreover, isolated but rather intertwined through all kinds of feedback loops with the preceding and ensuing phases.
The first decision that a designing engineer has to take is whether it is normal or radical designing that is most suitable for describing an artefact that can fulfil a certain particular function. The advantage of opting for normal designing is that it makes the design process efficient: such a decision largely anchors the decisions that have to be taken in the conceptual phase as the engineer is immediately able to base his or her further plans on an existing operational principle and an existing normal configuration.
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. One constraint in the area of component selection emanates from what engineers call integration: the selected components must technologically match. When designing an aeroplane, it would not, for example, be very sensible to opt for engines that run on kerosene and for electricity generated by a diesel aggregate for the plane’s various instruments.