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Forthcoming articles
  1. David Budtz Pedersen & Vincent F. Hendricks (forthcoming). Science Bubbles. Philosophy and Technology 45 (3):1-16.
    Much like the trade and traits of bubbles in financial markets, similar bubbles appear on the science market. When economic bubbles burst, the drop in prices causes the crash of unsustainable investments leading to an investor confidence crisis possibly followed by a financial panic. But when bubbles appear in science, truth and reliability are the first victims. This paper explores how fashions in research funding and research management may turn science into something like a bubble economy.
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  2. Joe Dewhurst (forthcoming). Mechanistic Miscomputation: A Reply to Fresco and Primiero. Philosophy and Technology:1-4.
    Fresco and Primiero’s recent article, ‘Miscomputation’ (Philosophy & Technology online first, doi:10.1007/s13347-013-0112-0), provides a useful framework with which to think about miscomputation, as well as an admirably broad taxonomy of different kinds of miscomputation. However, it also misconstrues the mechanistic approach to miscomputation, which I will argue should not recognise design errors as miscomputations per se. I argue that a computing mechanism, if it is functioning correctly in the physical sense, cannot miscompute on the basis of an error made by (...)
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  3. Federico Gobbo & Marco Benini (forthcoming). The Minimal Levels of Abstraction in the History of Modern Computing. Philosophy and Technology:1-17.
    From the advent of general purpose, Turing-complete machines, the relation between operators, programmers and users with computers can be observed as interconnected informational organisms (inforgs), henceforth analysed with the method of levels of abstraction (LoAs), risen within the philosophy of information (PI). In this paper, the epistemological levellism proposed by L. Floridi in the PI to deal with LoAs will be formalised in constructive terms using category theory, so that information itself is treated as structure-preserving functions instead of Cartesian products. (...)
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  4. Sybille Krämer (forthcoming). Mathematizing Power, Formalization, and the Diagrammatical Mind Or: What Does “Computation” Mean? [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology:1-13.
    Computation and formalization are not modalities of pure abstractive operations. The essay tries to revise the assumption of the constitutive nonsensuality of the formal. The argument is that formalization is a kind of linear spatialization, which has significant visual dimensions. Thus, a connection can be discovered between visualization by figurative graphism and formalization by symbolic calculations: Both use spatial relations not only to represent but also to operate on epistemic, nonspatial, nonvisual entities. Descartes was one of the pioneers of using (...)
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  5. Slawomir J. Nasuto, John Mark Bishop, Etienne B. Roesch & Matthew C. Spencer (forthcoming). Zombie Mouse in a Chinese Room. Philosophy and Technology:1-15.
    John Searle’s Chinese Room Argument (CRA) purports to demonstrate that syntax is not sufficient for semantics, and, hence, because computation cannot yield understanding, the computational theory of mind, which equates the mind to an information processing system based on formal computations, fails. In this paper, we use the CRA, and the debate that emerged from it, to develop a philosophical critique of recent advances in robotics and neuroscience. We describe results from a body of work that contributes to blurring the (...)
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  6. Litska Strikwerda (forthcoming). Present and Future Instances of Virtual Rape in Light of Three Categories of Legal Philosophical Theories on Rape. Philosophy and Technology:1-20.
    This paper is about the question of whether or not virtual rape should be considered a crime under current law. A virtual rape is the rape of an avatar (a person’s virtual representation) in a virtual world. In the future, possibilities for virtual rape of a person him- or herself will arise in virtual reality environments involving a haptic device or robotics. As the title indicates, I will study both these present and future instances of virtual rape in light of (...)
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  7. Mario Villalobos & Dave Ward (forthcoming). Living Systems: Autonomy, Autopoiesis and Enaction. Philosophy and Technology:1-15.
    The autopoietic theory and the enactive approach are two theoretical streams that, in spite of their historical link and conceptual affinities, offer very different views on the nature of living beings. In this paper, we compare these views and evaluate, in an exploratory way, their respective degrees of internal coherence. Focusing the analyses on certain key notions such as autonomy and organizational closure, we argue that while the autopoietic theory manages to elaborate an internally consistent conception of living beings, the (...)
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  8. Nicola Angius (forthcoming). The Problem of Justification of Empirical Hypotheses in Software Testing. Philosophy and Technology:1-17.
    This paper takes part in the methodological debate concerning the nature and the justification of hypotheses about computational systems in software engineering by providing an epistemological analysis of Software Testing, the practice of observing the programs’ executions to examine whether they fulfil software requirements. Property specifications articulating such requirements are shown to involve falsifiable hypotheses about software systems that are evaluated by means of tests which are likely to falsify those hypotheses. Software Reliability metrics, used to measure the growth of (...)
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  9. Pompeu Casanovas (forthcoming). Semantic Web Regulatory Models: Why Ethics Matter. Philosophy and Technology:1-23.
    The notion of validity fulfils a crucial role in legal theory. In the emerging Web 3.0, Semantic Web languages, legal ontologies, and normative multi-agent systems (nMAS) are designed to cover new regulatory needs. Conceptual models for complex regulatory systems shape the characteristic features of rules, norms, and principles in different ways. This article outlines one of such multilayered governance models, designed for the CAPER platform, and offers a definition of Semantic Web Regulatory Models (SWRM). It distinguishes between normative-SWRM and institutional-SWRM. (...)
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  10. Marc Champagne & Ryan Tonkens (forthcoming). Bridging the Responsibility Gap in Automated Warfare. Philosophy and Technology:1-13.
    Sparrow (J Appl Philos 24:62–77, 2007) argues that military robots capable of making their own decisions would be independent enough to allow us denial for their actions, yet too unlike us to be the targets of meaningful blame or praise—thereby fostering what Matthias (Ethics Inf Technol 6:175–183, 2004) has dubbed “the responsibility gap.” We agree with Sparrow that someone must be held responsible for all actions taken in a military conflict. That said, we think Sparrow overlooks the possibility of what (...)
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  11. Robert Clowes (forthcoming). Thinking in the Cloud: The Cognitive Incorporation of Cloud-Based Technology. Philosophy and Technology:1-36.
    Technologies and artefacts have long played a role in the structure of human memory and our cognitive lives more generally. Recent years have seen an explosion in the production and use of a new regime of information technologies that might have powerful implications for our minds. Electronic-Memory (E-Memory), powerful, portable and wearable digital gadgetry and “the cloud” of ever-present data services allow us to record, store and access an ever-expanding range of information both about and of relevance to our lives. (...)
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  12. Jon Cogburn & Mark Silcox (forthcoming). Against Brain-in-a-Vatism: On the Value of Virtual Reality. Philosophy and Technology:1-19.
    The term “virtual reality” was first coined by Antonin Artaud to describe a value-adding characteristic of certain types of theatrical performances. The expression has more recently come to refer to a broad range of incipient digital technologies that many current philosophers regard as a serious threat to human autonomy and well-being. Their concerns, which are formulated most succinctly in “brain in a vat”-type thought experiments and in Robert Nozick's famous “experience machine” argument, reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that (...)
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  13. Liesbeth De Mol & Giuseppe Primiero (forthcoming). Facing Computing as Technique: Towards a History and Philosophy of Computing. Philosophy and Technology:1-6.
    We present the methodological principles underlying the scientific activities of the DHST Commission on the History and Philosophy of Computing. This volume collects refereed selected papers from the First International Conference organized by the Commission.
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  14. Marc J. De Vries, Andrew Feenberg, Arne De Boever & Aud Sissel Hoel (forthcoming). Book Symposium on The Philosophy of Simondon: Between Technology and Individuation. Philosophy and Technology:1-26.
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  15. Massimo Durante (forthcoming). The Democratic Governance of Information Societies. A Critique to the Theory of Stakeholders. Philosophy and Technology:1-22.
    This paper criticizes the tendency to view the extension of the class of social actors, which stems from the process of democratization of data, as also implying the extension of the class of the political actors involved in the process of governance of the Information Society. The paper argues that social actors can upgrade to political actors once they become real interlocutors, namely political actors that can participate in the formation of the political discourse (which underlies political decisions) and that (...)
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  16. Jan Kyrre Berg Friis (forthcoming). Measure and the Measureless. Philosophy and Technology.
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  17. Jan Kyrre Berg Friis (forthcoming). Interpreting the Visual. Philosophy and Technology.
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  18. Frances S. Grodzinsky, Keith W. Miller & Marty J. Wolf (forthcoming). Developing Automated Deceptions and the Impact on Trust. Philosophy and Technology:1-15.
    As software developers design artificial agents (AAs), they often have to wrestle with complex issues, issues that have philosophical and ethical importance. This paper addresses two key questions at the intersection of philosophy and technology: What is deception? And when is it permissible for the developer of a computer artifact to be deceptive in the artifact’s development? While exploring these questions from the perspective of a software developer, we examine the relationship of deception and trust. Are developers using deception to (...)
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  19. Robert Hassan (forthcoming). Our Post-Modern Vanity: The Cult of Efficiency and the Regress to the Boundary of the Animal World. Philosophy and Technology:1-19.
    This essay argues that through a new and radical relationship with digital technologies that are oriented towards networking and automaticity, humans have become estranged from what philosopher Arnold Gehlen termed the ‘circle of action’ (handlungskreis) that expressed our ancient adaptation to tool use and constituted the basis for our capacity for reflective consciousness. The objectification of the material and analogue relationship that enabled humans to ‘act’ upon the world and to construct the basis for our collective endeavours, this paper shows, (...)
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  20. Michael H. G. Hoffmann (forthcoming). Changing Philosophy Through Technology: Complexity and Computer-Supported Collaborative Argument Mapping. Philosophy and Technology:1-22.
    Technology is not only an object of philosophical reflection but also something that can change this reflection. This paper discusses the potential of computer-supported argument visualization tools for coping with the complexity of philosophical arguments. I will show, in particular, how the interactive and web-based argument mapping software “AGORA-net” can change the practice of philosophical reflection, communication, and collaboration. AGORA-net allows the graphical representation of complex argumentations in logical form and the synchronous and asynchronous collaboration on those “argument maps” on (...)
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  21. Sune Hannibal Holm (forthcoming). Synthetic Biology and Biological Interests. Philosophy and Technology.
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  22. Björn Lundgren (forthcoming). The Information Liar Paradox: A Problem for Floridi's RSDI Definition. Philosophy and Technology:1-5.
    In this commentary, I discuss the effects of the liar paradox on Floridi’s definition on semantic information. In particular, I show that there is at least one sentence that creates a contradictory result for Floridi’s definition of semantic information that does not affect the standard definition.
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  23. Marco Nørskov (forthcoming). Revisiting Ihde's Fourfold “Technological Relationships”: Application and Modification. Philosophy and Technology:1-19.
    The question of how we relate to the world via technology is fundamental to the philosophy of technology. One of the leading experts, the contemporary philosopher Don Ihde, has addressed this core issue in many of his works and introduced a fourfold classification of technology-based relationships. The conceptual paper at hand offers a modification of Ihde’s theory, but unlike previous research, it explores the functional compositions of Ihde’s categories instead of complementing them with additional relational categories. The result is a (...)
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  24. Viola Schiaffonati & Mario Verdicchio (forthcoming). Computing and Experiments. Philosophy and Technology:1-18.
    The question about the scientific nature of computing has been widely debated with no universal consensus reached about its disciplinary status. Positions vary from acknowledging computing as the science of computers to defining it as a synthetic engineering discipline. In this paper, we aim at discussing the nature of computing from a methodological perspective. We consider, in particular, the nature and role of experiments in this field, whether they can be considered close to the traditional experimental scientific method or, instead, (...)
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  25. Sadjad Soltanzadeh (forthcoming). Humanist and Nonhumanist Aspects of Technologies as Problem Solving Physical Instruments. Philosophy and Technology:1-18.
    A form of metaphysical humanism in the field of philosophy of technology can be defined as the claim that besides technologies’ physical aspects, purely human attributes are sufficient to conceptualize technologies. Metaphysical nonhumanism, on the other hand, would be the claim that the meanings of the operative words in any acceptable conception of technologies refer to the states of affairs or events which are in a way or another shaped by technologies. In this paper, I focus on the conception of (...)
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  26. John Symons & Jack Horner (forthcoming). Software Intensive Science. Philosophy and Technology:1-17.
    This paper argues that the difference between contemporary software intensive scientific practice and more traditional non-software intensive varieties results from the characteristically high conditionality of software. We explain why the path complexity of programs with high conditionality imposes limits on standard error correction techniques and why this matters. While it is possible, in general, to characterize the error distribution in inquiry that does not involve high conditionality, we cannot characterize the error distribution in inquiry that depends on software. Software intensive (...)
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  27. Herman T. Tavani (forthcoming). Levels of Trust in the Context of Machine Ethics. Philosophy and Technology:1-16.
    Are trust relationships involving humans and artificial agents (AAs) possible? This controversial question has become a hotly debated topic in the emerging field of machine ethics. Employing a model of trust advanced by Buechner and Tavani (Ethics and Information Technology 13(1):39–51, 2011), I argue that the “short answer” to this question is yes. However, I also argue that a more complete and nuanced answer will require us to articulate the various levels of trust that are also possible in environments comprising (...)
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  28. Raymond Turner (forthcoming). Programming Languages as Technical Artifacts. Philosophy and Technology:1-21.
    Taken at face value, a programming language is defined by a formal grammar. But, clearly, there is more to it. By themselves, the naked strings of the language do not determine when a program is correct relative to some specification. For this, the constructs of the language must be given some semantic content. Moreover, to be employed to generate physical computations, a programming language must have a physical implementation. How are we to conceptualize this complex package? Ontologically, what kind of (...)
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  29. Shannon Vallor (forthcoming). Moral Deskilling and Upskilling in a New Machine Age: Reflections on the Ambiguous Future of Character. Philosophy and Technology:1-18.
    This paper explores the ambiguous impact of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) on the cultivation of moral skills in human beings. Just as twentieth century advances in machine automation resulted in the economic devaluation of practical knowledge and skillsets historically cultivated by machinists, artisans, and other highly trained workers (Braverman 1974), while also driving the cultivation of new skills in a variety of engineering and white collar occupations, ICTs are also recognized as potential causes of a complex pattern of (...)
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  30. Dingmar van Eck (forthcoming). Validating Function-Based Design Methods: An Explanationist Perspective. Philosophy and Technology:1-21.
    Analysis of the adequacy of engineering design methods, as well as analysis of the utility of concepts of function often invoked in these methods, is a neglected topic in both philosophy of technology and in engineering proper. In this paper, I present an approach—dubbed an explanationist perspective—for assessing the adequacy of function-based design methods. Engineering design is often intertwined with explanation, for instance, in reverse engineering and subsequent redesign, knowledge base-assisted designing, and diagnostic reasoning. I argue that the presented approach (...)
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