Engineering good: How engineering metaphors help us to understand the moral life and change society

Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (2):371-385 (2010)
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Abstract

Engineering can learn from ethics, but ethics can also learn from engineering. In this paper, I discuss what engineering metaphors can teach us about practical philosophy. Using metaphors such as calculation, performance, and open source, I articulate two opposing views of morality and politics: one that relies on images related to engineering as science and one that draws on images of engineering practice. I argue that the latter view and its metaphors provide a more adequate way to understand and guide the moral life. Responding to two problems of alienation and taking into account developments such as Fab Lab I then further explore the implications of this view for engineering and society.

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Mark Coeckelbergh
University of Vienna

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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
The logic of scientific discovery.Karl Raimund Popper - 1934 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Hutchinson Publishing Group.
Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.

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