Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Monist: July 2009, Vol. 92, No.3

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Monist: July 2009, Vol. 92, No.3

Article excerpt

Defining Engineering from Chicago to Shantou, MICHAEL DAVIS

The Philosophical Inadequacy of Engineering, CARL MITCHAM

Engineering is a philosophically inadequate profession insofar as its definition promises something it cannot deliver. Engineering is classically defined as the art and/or science of "directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and the convenience of humans," with use and convenience being given contemporary elaboration as the protection of "public safety, health, and welfare." Yet there is little in engineering education or knowledge that constitutes any distinct competence for making judgments about public safety, health, and welfare. Engineering as a profession is analogous to what medicine might be if physicians had no expert knowledge of health. The argument first reviews the conceptualization of engineering as a profession, explicates in more detail its service ideal, and argues a deficiency with regard to how this service ideal is or could be enacted.

The Engineering Method and its Implications for Scientific, Philosophical, and Universal Methods, BILLY V. KOEN

A Functional Ontology of Artifacts, RIICHIRO MIZOGUCHI and YOSHINOBU KITAMURA

Contemporary Engineering and the Metaphysics of Artefacts:

Beyond the Artisan Model, WYBO HOUKES and PIETER E. VERMAAS


Technological artifacts can have moral significance because of their profound effects on human beings, effects which include the mediation of perceptions and of actions. This paper aims to identify these effects without blurring traditional categories such as agency (for example by talking about artifacts as agents) or responsibility. …

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