Imagination, distributed responsibility and vulnerable technological systems: The case of Snorre a

Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (2):235-248 (2007)
Abstract
An influential approach to engineering ethics is based on codes of ethics and the application of moral principles by individual practitioners. However, to better understand the ethical problems of complex technological systems and the moral reasoning involved in such contexts, we need other tools as well. In this article, we consider the role of imagination and develop a concept of distributed responsibility in order to capture a broader range of human abilities and dimensions of moral responsibility. We show that in the case of Snorre A, a near-disaster with an oil and gas production installation, imagination played a crucial and morally relevant role in how the crew coped with the crisis. For example, we discuss the role of scenarios and images in the moral reasoning and discussion of the platform crew in coping with the crisis. Moreover, we argue that responsibility for increased system vulnerability, turning an undesired event into a near-disaster, should not be ascribed exclusively, for example to individual engineers alone, but should be understood as distributed between various actors, levels and times. We conclude that both managers and engineers need imagination to transcend their disciplinary perspectives in order to improve the robustness of their organisations and to be better prepared for crisis situations. We recommend that education and training programmes should be transformed accordingly.
Keywords Imagination  Responsibility  Vulnerability  Engineering  Snorre A
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,449
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

15 ( #110,344 of 1,102,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #62,325 of 1,102,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.