What does it mean to think about technology philosophically? Why try? These are the issues that CarlMitcham addresses in this work, a comprehensive, critical introduction to the philosophy of technology and a discussion of its sources and uses. Tracing the changing meaning of "technology" from ancient times to our own, Mitcham identifies the most important traditions of critical analysis of technology: the engineering approach, which assumes the centrality of technology in human life and the humanities approach, (...) which is concerned with its moral and cultural boundaries. Mitcham bridges these two traditions through an analysis of discussions of engineering design, of the distinction between tools and machines, and of engineering science itself. He looks at technology as it is experienced in everyday life--as material objects (from kitchenware to computers), as knowledge ( including recipes, rules, theories, and intuitive "know-how"), as activity (design, construction, and use), and as volition (knowing how to use technology and understanding its consequences). By elucidating these multiple aspects, Mitcham establishes criteria for a more comprehensive analysis of ethical issues in applications of science and technology. This book will guide anyone wanting to reflect on technology and its moral implications. (shrink)
This volume grew out of the experience of the First Inter-American Congress on Philosophy of Technology, October 1988, organized by the Center for the Philosophy and History of Science and Technology of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagiiez. The Spanish-language proceedings of that conference have been published in CarlMitcham and Margarita M. Peiia Borrero, with Elena Lugo and James Ward, eds., El nuevo mundo de la filosofta y la tecnolog. This volume contains thirty-two papers, twenty-two summaries, (...) an introduction and biographical notes, to provide a full record of that seminal gathering. Discussions with Paul T. Durbin and others - including many who participated in the Second Inter-American Congress on Philosophy of Technology, University of Puerto Rico in Mayagiiez, March 199- raised the prospect of an English-language proceedings in the Philosophy and Technology series. But after due consideration it was agreed that a more general volume was needed to introduce English-speaking readers to a growing body of literature on the philosophy of technology in the Spanish-speaking world. As such, the present volume includes Spanish as well as Latin American authors, historical and contemporary figures, some who did and many who did not participate in the first and second inter-American congresses. (shrink)
Who owns your genes? What does climate science imply for policy? Do corporations conduct honest research? Should we teach intelligent design? Humans are creating a new world through science. The kind of world we are creating will not simply be decided by expanding scientific knowledge, but will depend on views about good and bad, right and wrong. These visions, in turn, depend on critical thinking, cogent argument and informed judgement. In this book, Adam Briggle and CarlMitcham help (...) readers to cultivate these skills. They first introduce ethics and the normative structure of science and then consider the 'society of science' and its norms for the responsible conduct of research and the treatment of human and animal research subjects. Later chapters examine 'science in society' - exploring ethical issues at the interfaces of science, policy, religion, culture and technology. Each chapter features case studies and research questions to stimulate further reflection. (shrink)
This is the introduction to a special, guest-edited issue of Philosophy Today. It lays out the extent to which the philosophy of science has ignored science policy and argues that policy issues deserve attention in parallel with epistemological ones. It further reviews the historical development of science policy in the United States since World War II, identifies some recent contributions to critical reflection on basic science policy assumptions, and outlines a set of issues to be addressed by any comprehensive philosophy (...) of science policy. (shrink)
Public “upstream engagement” and other approaches to the social control of technology are currently receiving international attention in policy discourses around emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. To the extent that such approaches hold implications for research and development activities, the distinct participation of scientists and engineers is required. The capacity of technoscientists to broaden the influences on R&D activities, however, implies that they conduct R&D differently. This article discusses the possibility for more reflexive participation by scientists and engineers in the (...) internal governance of technology development. It reviews various historical attempts to govern technoscience and introduces the concept of midstream modulation, through which scientists and engineers, ideally in concert with others, bring societal considerations to bear on their work. (shrink)
The movements to teach the responsible conduct of research and engineering ethics at technological universities are often unacknowledged aspects of the ethics across the curriculum movement and could benefit from explicit alliances with it. Remarkably, however, not nearly as much scholarly attention has been devoted to EAC as to RCR or to engineering ethics, and RCR and engineering ethics educational efforts are not always presented as facets of EAC. The emergence of EAC efforts at two different institutions—the Illinois Institute of (...) Technology and Utah Valley University —provide counter examples. The remarkably successful UVU initiative gave birth to EAC as a scholarly movement and to the associated Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. EAC initiatives at the Colorado School of Mines, however, point up continuing institutional resistances to EAC. Finally, comparative reflection on successes and failures can draw some lessons for the future. One suggestion is that increasing demands for accountability and pedagogical research into what works in teaching and learning offers special opportunities. (shrink)
This second companion volume on engineering studies considers engineering practice including contextual analyses of engineering identity, epistemologies and values. Key overlapping questions examine such issues as an engineering identity, engineering self-understandings enacted in the professional world, distinctive characters of engineering knowledge and how engineering science and engineering design interact in practice. -/- Authors bring with them perspectives from their institutional homes in Europe, North America, Australia\ and Asia. The volume includes 24 contributions by more than 30 authors from engineering, the (...) social sciences and the humanities. Additional issues the chapters scrutinize include prominent norms of engineering, how they interact with the values of efficiency or environmental sustainability. A concluding set of articles considers the meaning of context more generally by asking if engineers create their own contexts or are they created by contexts. -/- Taken as a whole, this collection of original scholarly work is unique in its broad, multidisciplinary consideration of the changing character of engineering practice. (shrink)
La filosofía de la tecnología ingenieril - La filosofía de la tecnología de las humanidades - Enfoque comparado de ambas filosofías - Ciencia e idea, tecnología e ideas - De la cuestión conceptual a la lógica y las cuestiones epistemológicas - Cuestiones de filosofía política - Cuestiones teológicas - Cuestiones metafísicas - Responsabilidad legal e industrialización - Ciencia y responsabilidad social - Los ingenieros, la responsabilidad profesional y la ética - La apelación teológica a la responsabilidad - El análisis filosófico (...) de la responsabilidad - La cuestión de la responsabilidad. (shrink)
To enlarge the discussion of scientific responsibility for research integrity, this paper offers two historico-philosophical observations. First, in the broad history of ideas, modern ethics replaces social role responsibility with appeals to abstract principles; by contrast, discussions within the scientific community of responsibility for research integrity constitute a rediscovery of the continuing vitality of role responsibility. This is a rediscovery from which philosophy itself may benefit. Second, within the context of scientists’ concerns, the idea of role responsibility has undergone significant (...) evolution from “collective responsibility” to the notion of responsibility resting with a “trans-scientific community.” Further challenges nevertheless remain in order to relate scientific role responsibility for scientific integrity to the relationship between science and society. To promote a notion of integrity not just in science but in the science-society relationship, it may be useful to think in terms of a “co-responsibility” for scientific integrity. (shrink)
Building on research in anthropology and philosophy, one can make a distinction between type I and type II energy ethics as a framework for advancing public debate about energy. Type I holds energy production and use as a fundamental good and is grounded in the assumption that increases in energy production and consumption result in increases in human wellbeing. Conversely, type II questions the linear relationship between energy production and progress by examining questions of equity and human happiness. The type (...) I versus type II framework helps to advance public debates about energy that address broad questions of profitability, regulation, and the environment, and in the process poses fundamental questions about the reverence for energy growth in advanced technological societies. (shrink)
This book takes steps to develop a philosophy of engineering not to promote an ideology for engineering but to stimulate critical reflection among engineers and non-engineers alike about our engineering lifeworld.
Taking stock of interdisciplinarity as it nears its century mark, the Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity constitutes a major new reference work on the topic of interdisciplinarity, a concept of growing academic and societal importance.
Aristotle launched Western knowledge on a trajectory toward disciplinarity that continues to this day. But is the knowledge management project that began with Aristotle adequate for the age of Google? Perhaps an undisciplined discourse more evocative of Plato can help us constitute new, more relevant inter- and transdisciplinary forms of knowledge. This article explores the history of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, arguing for a new, critical form of interdisciplinarity that moves beyond the academy into dialogue with the public and private sectors. (...) Contemporary knowledge production should involve not only a horizontal axis stretching across academia but also a vertical axis where academic research is integrated into contemporary life. (shrink)