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January 2019    Dennis R. DuBe'     671/3480

--Philosophy of Technology
           #3480   Created 06/08/2013   Updated 07/30/2013

see "Philosopy of Technology" at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/technology/#CenDesTec

This entry focuses on the latter branch of the philosophy of technology, which seeks continuity with the philosophy of science rather than social science and the humanities.

"A questioning of the relation between science and technology was the central issue in one of the earliest discussions among analytic philosophers of technology. In 1966, in a special issue of the journal Technology and Culture, Henryk Skolimowski argued that technology is something quite different from science (Skolimowski 1966). As he phrased it, science concerns itself with what is, whereas technology concerns itself with what is to be. A few years later, in his well-known book The sciences of the artificial (1969), Herbert Simon emphasized this important distinction in almost the same words, stating that the scientist is concerned with how things are but the engineer with how things ought to be. "

... "Technology is a continuous attempt to bring the world closer to the way it is to be. Whereas science aims to understand the world as it is, technology aims to change the world."

..."Many engineers are intrinsically motivated to change the world; they are their own best customers. The same is true for most industrial companies, particularly in a market economy. As a result, much technological development is ‘technology-driven’."

"...technology is a practice focused on the creation of artifacts and, of increasing importance, artifact-based services..." design process starts with customer needs or whishes, translated into funtion requirements, which define the design task. Design process (series of translational steps) needs into funcitonal requrements, which exactly specify what the (thing) will do; functional reqs translated into design specifications (exact physical parameters). ombined into a bludprint; iterate as necessary. above from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/technology/#CenDesTec

Vincenti distinguishes:

  1. Fundamental design concepts, including primarily the operational principle and the normal configuration of a particular device;
  2. Criteria and specifications;
  3. Theoretical tools;
  4. Quantitative data;
  5. Practical considerations;
  6. Design instrumentalities.


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