Engineering good: How engineering metaphors help us to understand the moral life and change society

Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (2):371-385 (2010)

Authors
Mark Coeckelbergh
University of Vienna
Abstract
Engineering can learn from ethics, but ethics can also learn from engineering. In this paper, I discuss what engineering metaphors can teach us about practical philosophy. Using metaphors such as calculation, performance, and open source, I articulate two opposing views of morality and politics: one that relies on images related to engineering as science and one that draws on images of engineering practice. I argue that the latter view and its metaphors provide a more adequate way to understand and guide the moral life. Responding to two problems of alienation and taking into account developments such as Fab Lab I then further explore the implications of this view for engineering and society.
Keywords Metaphor  Morality  Engineering  Politics  Alienation  Open source  Fab Lab
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-009-9163-0
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.

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