Teaching about technology, at all levels of education, can only be done properly when those who teach have a clear idea about what it is that they teach. In other words: they should be able to give a decent answer to the question: what is technology? In the philosophy of technology that question is explored. Therefore the philosophy of technology is a discipline with a high relevance for those who teach about technology. Literature in this field, though, is not always (...) easy to access for non-philosophers. This book provides an introduction to the philosophy of technology for such people. It offers a survey of the current state-of-affairs in the philosophy of technology, and also discusses the relevance of that for teaching about technology. The book can be used in introductory courses on the philosophy of technology in teacher education programs, engineering education programs, and by individual educators that are interested in the intriguing phenomenon of technology that is so important in our contemporary society. (shrink)
Engineering, as a complex and multidimensional practice of technology development, has long been a source of ethical concerns. These concerns have been approached from various perspectives. There are ongoing debates in the literature of the philosophy of engineering/technology about how to organize an optimized view of the values entailed in technology development processes. However, these debates deliver little in the way of a concrete rationale or framework that could comprehensively describe different types of engineering values and their multi-aspect interrelations in (...) real engineering practices. Approaching engineering values from a meaning-based perspective, as in this paper, can be a reliable method of tackling such a controversial problem. This paper therefore proposes that technology development be considered a systemic normative practice and attempts to provide a comprehensive view of various built-in values, their different origins and features, and a way of prioritizing them in real engineering processes. Studying two cases of the Zayandeh Rood Dam and the Abbasi Dam will lead to practical insights into how to understand norms in technology development and incorporate them into engineering practice. (shrink)
Since current water governance patterns mandate cooperation and partnership within and between the actors in the hydrosystems, supplementary models are necessary to distinguish the roles and the rules of indoor actions which is why we extend a theory in the frameworks of philosophy of technology. This analysis is empirically grounded on the problematic hydrosystems of a river in central Iran, Zayandehrud. Following a modernist-holistic-based analysis, it illustrates how values in the water apportionment mechanisms are being reshaped. The article by using (...) the theory of normative practice has scrutinised the tasks and the rules of the old and new water-management systems, Mirab. Subsequently according to such philosophical theory, it has argued that the conflicts over the cases are due to interference of structural and directional norms within them. (shrink)
This book examines the role of new technologies and the way social practices are influenced by them, creating all sorts of new challenges for maintaining a coherent practice without clashed between norms.
In this article, the morality in the “wickedness” of design problems as wicked problems is explored. I will use for that purpose the characteristics of wicked problems as identified by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber. These characteristics suggest interdisciplinary thinking for solving such problems. An awareness of the wicked nature of design problems can stimulate proper use of the concept of utopias for solving these problems. I will use the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd to provide a framework for understanding the (...) nature of design problems as wicked problems. (shrink)
In this article I will show how the conceptual framework for analyzing reality as developed in reformational philosophy can help us to get a fuller understanding of the ethics of technology than in popular reductionist views. Thereby I will use Caroline Whitbeck’s suggestion that ethical problems should be dealt with as if they were design problems. Reformational philosophy helps us to understand the nature of complexity in design and also how order in this complex chaos can be created by observing (...) the various functions of technical artifacts. In line with the current empirical turn in the philosophy of technology, I will illustrate this by describing a case study: nanotechnology. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn the present study, we refer to Carr's theory on the nature of educational practice for evaluating teaching as a praxis in relation to two major changes, i.e. ubiquitous learning and massive communication caused by MOOCs. With regard to the first change, we argue that the teacher is faced with the problem of encouraging the learners to get involved in the educational activities. The second change has resulted in a reduction of teacher’s agency and loss of teaching legitimacy and hence (...) its natural feature as a morally committed action. In addition, massive communication has affected the potential encounters between teacher and student considered as the ‘Other’ and has replaced conversation with texting. We highlight the significance of teacher-student conversation as an essential element for developing reflection and self-reflection capacities. Finally, we discuss that the responsibility of teaching is beyond designing and implementing education technically through MOOCs. (shrink)
In Philosophia Reformata, Vol. 69, No. 1, Johan Stellingwerff published a challenging article1 on the need to rethink the philosophy of technology in reformational philosophy. Stellingwerff is not only critical about the work done by Van Riessen and Schuurman, but he also criticizes the Dual Nature of Technical Artifacts program at the Delft University of Technology.2 In this reply I want to take up particularly some of the points of criticism against the latter and see if they can be upheld (...) when taking a closer look at what has been published in this program so far. Although the article by Stellingwerff is in Dutch, I have decided to write my reply in English to enable a wider audience to take part in the debate. (shrink)