The normativity of artefacts

Abstract
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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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2005.12.006
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References found in this work BETA
Knowledge of Artefact Functions.Wybo Houkes - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.
Mechanistic Artefact Explanation.Jeroen de Ridder - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.
Should We Pass the Buck?Jonathan Dancy - 2000 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 47:159-173.
Should We Pass the Buck?Jonathan Dancy - 2005 - In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), Recent Work on Intrinsic Value. Springer. pp. 33--44.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Moral Dimensions of Infrastructure.Shane Epting - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (2):435-449.
Computers.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.
Miscomputation.Nir Fresco & Giuseppe Primiero - 2013 - Philosophy and Technology 26 (3):253-272.
Knowledge of Artefact Functions.Wybo Houkes - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

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