David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):42-57 (2006)
Part of the distinction between artefacts, objects made by humans for particular purposes, and natural objects is that artefacts are subject to normative judgments. In this paper I investigate how such judgments fit into the domain of the normative in general and what the grounds for their normativity are. Taking as a starting point a general characterization of normativity proposed by Dancy, I argue how statements such as 'this is a good drill' or 'this drill is malfunctioning' can be seen to express normative facts, or the content of normative statements. Next this analysis is extended to show that not just statements that say that an artefact performs its function well or poorly, but all statements that ascribe a function to an artefact can be seen as expressing a normative fact. On this approach the normativity of artefacts is analyzed in terms of reasons on grounds of practical, and to a lesser extent theoretical, rationality. (edited)
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References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Dancy (2000). Should We Pass the Buck? Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 47:159-173.
Wybo Houkes (2006). Knowledge of Artefact Functions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.
Pieter E. Vermaas & Wybo Houkes (2006). Technical Functions: A Drawbridge Between the Intentional and Structural Natures of Technical Artefacts. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):5-18.
Citations of this work BETA
Ulrich Krohs (2009). Functions as Based on a Concept of General Design. Synthese 166 (1):69-89.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2008). Computers. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.
Jeroen de Ridder (2006). Mechanistic Artefact Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.
Krist Vaesen (2011). The Functional Bias of the Dual Nature of Technical Artefacts Program. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (1):190-197.
Pablo Schyfter (2012). Technological Biology? Things and Kinds in Synthetic Biology. Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):29-48.
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