What Next after Determinism in the Ontology of Technology? Distributing Responsibility in the Biofuel Debate

Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (3):525-538 (2011)
This article builds upon previous discussion of social and technical determinisms as implicit positions in the biofuel debate. To ensure these debates are balanced, it has been suggested that they should be designed to contain a variety of deterministic positions. Whilst it is agreed that determinism does not feature strongly in contemporary academic literatures, it is found that they have generally been superseded by an absence of any substantive conceptualisation of how the social shaping of technology may be related to, or occur alongside, an objective or autonomous reality. The problem of determinism emerges at an ontological level and must be resolved in situ. A critical realist approach to technology is presented which may provide a more appropriate framework for debate. In dialogue with previous discussion, the distribution of responsibility is revisited with reference to the role of scientists and engineers
Keywords Technical determinism  Social determinism  Critical realism  Technology  Biofuels  Responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-010-9216-4
 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: 24,470
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
Wybo Houkes & Anthonie Meijers (2006). The Ontology of Artefacts: The Hard Problem. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):118-131.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

19 ( #243,747 of 1,925,582 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,998 of 1,925,582 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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