Incommensurability and Rationality in Engineering Design

Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (2):118-136 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In engineering design research different models of functional decomposition are advanced side-by-side. In this paper I explain and validate this co-existence of models in terms of the Kuhnian thesis of methodological incommensurability. I advance this analysis in terms of the thesis’ construal of (non-algorithmic) theory choice in terms of values, expanding this notion to the engineering domain. I further argue that the (by some) implicated threat of the thesis to rational theory choice has no force in the functional decomposition case: co-existence of different models of functional decomposition is rational from an instrumental point of view. My explanation covers cases in which different models are advanced as means for the same objective. Such cases cannot be explicated with the explanatory construct of variety in objectives, as advanced in other analyses of co-existing conceptualizations in engineering.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,446

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Models and truth.Uskali Mäki - 2010 - In M. Dorato M. Suàrez (ed.), Epsa Epistemology and Methodology of Science. Springer. pp. 177--187.
Engineering design and adaptation.Robert C. Richardson - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1277-1288.
On the existence of regular types.Saharon Shelah & Steven Buechler - 1989 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 45 (3):277-308.
Functional Independence and Cognitive Architecture.Vincent Bergeron - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):817-836.
The Role of Non-Epistemic Values in Engineering Models.Sven Diekmann & Martin Peterson - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):207-218.
A First Order Theory of Functional Parthood.Pawel Garbacz - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (3):309-337.
Investigating ethical issues in engineering design.Ibo van de Poel - 2001 - Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (3):429-446.
Investigating ethical issues in engineering design.Ibo Poel - 2001 - Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (3):429-446.
``Two'' many optimalities.Oscar Vilarroya - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (2):251-270.
Design sans adaptation.Sara Green, Arnon Levy & William Bechtel - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):15-29.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-09-18

Downloads
161 (#107,213)

6 months
1 (#1,005,371)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?