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Wybo Houkes [33]W. Houkes [3]
  1.  90
    Ascribing Functions to Technical Artefacts: A Challenge to Etiological Accounts of Functions.Pieter E. Vermaas & Wybo Houkes - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):261-289.
    The aim of this paper is to evaluate etiological accounts of functions for the domain of technical artefacts. Etiological theories ascribe functions to items on the basis of the causal histories of those items; they apply relatively straightforwardly to the biological domain, in which neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory provides a well-developed and generally accepted background for describing the causal histories of biological items. Yet there is no well-developed and generally accepted theory for describing the causal history of artefacts, so the application (...)
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  2.  64
    Actions Versus Functions: A Plea for an Alternative Metaphysics of Artifacts.Wybo Houkes & Pieter Vermaas - 2004 - The Monist 87 (1):52-71.
    The philosophy of artifacts is as marginal as it is one-sided. The majority of contributions to it are asides in works devoted to other subjects and focus on one characteristic feature: that artifacts are objects with functions. Indeed many artifacts, such as screwdrivers and toasters, come in functional kinds. Perhaps for this reason, philosophers elevated functions to the essences of artifacts or have developed general theories of function to describe artifacts along with their main subject: biological items. Most such theories (...)
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  3.  65
    Technical Functions: A Drawbridge Between the Intentional and Structural Natures of Technical Artefacts.Pieter E. Vermaas & Wybo Houkes - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):5-18.
    In this paper we present an action-theoretic account of artefact using and designing and describe our ICE-theory of function ascriptions to technical artefacts. By means of this account and theory we analyse the thesis of the dual nature of technical artefacts according to which descriptions of technical artefacts draw on structural and intentional conceptualisations. We show that the ascription of technical functions to technical artefacts can connect the intentional and structural parts of descriptions of artefacts, but also separate these parts. (...)
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  4.  51
    Knowledge of Artefact Functions.Wybo Houkes - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.
    I argue that technological functions warrant specific epistemological attention, which they have not received thus far. From a user’s perspective, knowledge about the possible functions of an artefact is not provided exclusively by beliefs about its physical characteristics; it is primarily provided by know-how related to its use. Analysing the latter shows that standards of practical and not just theoretical reasoning are involved. Moreover, knowledge of the function of artefacts is primarily based on testimony and a social division of labour (...)
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  5.  34
    Ascribing Functions to Technical Artifacts: A Challenge to Etiological Accounts of Function.W. Houkes & P. E. Vermaas - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):261-89.
  6.  55
    The Ontology of Artefacts: The Hard Problem.Wybo Houkes & Anthonie Meijers - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):118-131.
    We examine to what extent an adequate ontology of technical artefacts can be based on existing general accounts of the relation between higher-order objects and their material basis. We consider two of these accounts: supervenience and constitution. We take as our starting point the thesis that artefacts have a ‘dual nature’, that is, that they are both material bodies and functional objects. We present two criteria for an adequate ontology of artefacts, ‘Underdetermination’ and ‘Realizability Constraints’ , which address aspects of (...)
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  7. Robust! -- Handle with Care.Wybo Houkes & Krist Vaesen - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (3):1-20.
  8. Modelling the Truth of Scientific Beliefs with Cultural Evolutionary Theory.Krist Vaesen & Wybo Houkes - 2014 - Synthese 191 (1).
    Evolutionary anthropologists and archaeologists have been considerably successful in modelling the cumulative evolution of culture, of technological skills and knowledge in particular. Recently, one of these models has been introduced in the philosophy of science by De Cruz and De Smedt (Philos Stud 157:411–429, 2012), in an attempt to demonstrate that scientists may collectively come to hold more truth-approximating beliefs, despite the cognitive biases which they individually are known to be subject to. Here we identify a major shortcoming in that (...)
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  9.  5
    Contemporary Engineering and the Metaphysics of Artefacts: Beyond the Artisan Model.Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas - 2009 - The Monist 92 (3):403-419.
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  10.  46
    Pluralism on Artefact Categories: A Philosophical Defence.Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):543-557.
    In this paper we use our work in the philosophy of technology to formulate a pluralist view on artefact categories and categorisation principles, as studied in cognitive science. We argue, on the basis of classifications derived by philosophical reconstruction, that artefacts can be clustered in more than one way, and that each clustering may be taken as defining psychological artefact categories. We contrast this pluralism with essentialism and super-minimalism on artefact categories and we argue that pluralism is coherent with experimental (...)
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  11.  29
    Produced to Use.Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas - 2009 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13 (2):123-136.
    In this paper we examine the possibilities of combining two central intuitions about artefacts: that they are functional objects, and that they are non-natural objects. We do so in four steps. First we argue that, contrary to common opinion, functions cannot be the cornerstone of a characterisation of artefacts. Our argument suggests an alternative view, which characterises artefacts as objects embedded in what we call use plans. Second, we show that this plan-centred successor of the function-focused view is at odds (...)
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  12.  36
    Dual-Nature and Collectivist Frameworks for Technical Artefacts: A Constructive Comparison.Wybo Houkes, Peter Kroes, Anthonie Meijers & Pieter E. Vermaas - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):198-205.
    This paper systematically compares two frameworks for analysing technical artefacts: the Dual-Nature approach, exemplified by the contributions to Kroes and Meijers , and the collectivist approach advocated by Schyfter , following Kusch . After describing the main tenets of both approaches, we show that there is significant overlap between them: both frameworks analyse the most typical cases of artefact use, albeit in different terms, but to largely the same extent. Then, we describe several kinds of cases for which the frameworks (...)
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  13.  30
    Population Thinking and Natural Selection in Dual-Inheritance Theory.Wybo Houkes - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):401-417.
    A deflationary perspective on theories of cultural evolution, in particular dual-inheritance theory, has recently been proposed by Lewens. On this ‘pop-culture’ analysis, dual-inheritance theorists apply population thinking to cultural phenomena, without claiming that cultural items evolve by natural selection. This paper argues against this pop-culture analysis of dual-inheritance theory. First, it focuses on recent dual-inheritance models of specific patterns of cultural change. These models exemplify population thinking without a commitment to natural selection of cultural items. There are grounds, however, for (...)
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  14. Normativity in Quine's Naturalism: The Technology of Truth-Seeking? [REVIEW]Wybo Houkes - 2002 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):251-267.
    In this paper, I review Quine's response to the normativity charge against naturalized epistemology. On this charge, Quine's naturalized epistemology neglects the essential normativity of the traditional theory of knowledge and hence cannot count as its successor. According to Quine, normativity is retained in naturalism as ‘the technology of truth-seeking’. I first disambiguate Quine's naturalism into three programs of increasing strength and clarify the strongest program by means of the so-called Epistemic Skinner Box. Then, I investigate two ways in which (...)
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  15.  31
    Paper: What is Morally Salient About Enhancement Technologies?Auke J. K. Pols & Wybo Houkes - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (2):84-87.
    The human enhancement debate typically centres on moral issues regarding changes in human nature, not on the means for these changes. We argue that one cannot grasp what is morally salient about human enhancement without understanding how technologies affect human action and practical reasoning. We present a minimalist conception of human agents as bounded practical reasoners. Then, we categorise different effects of technologies on our possibilities for action and our evaluation of these possibilities. For each, we discuss whether enhancement technologies (...)
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  16.  21
    Artefacts in Analytic Metaphysics.Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas - 2009 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13 (2):74-81.
    In this paper we examine the possibilities of combining two central intuitions about artefacts: that they are functional objects, and that they are non-natural objects. We do so in four steps. First we argue that, contrary to common opinion, functions cannot be the cornerstone of a characterisation of artefacts. Our argument suggests an alternative view, which characterises artefacts as objects embedded in what we call use plans. Second, we show that this plan-centred successor of the function-focused view is at odds (...)
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  17.  2
    How Will We Find the Elephant in the Room?Wybo Houkes & Krist Vaesen - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43.
    We argue that Osirak's and Reynaud's technological-reasoning hypothesis raises conceptual and methodological challenges. Interrelations between technical potential and expertise leave it unclear exactly what the technical-reasoning hypothesis encompasses. We submit that it is compatible with a range of hypotheses that are difficult to differentiate empirically.
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  18.  19
    Functions and the Aesthetics of Technical Artefacts.Wybo Houkes - 2019 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (1):37-55.
    In this paper, it is examined to what extent functions, as analysed in the philosophy of technical artefacts, can serve a role in explaining the aesthetic appreciation of these objects. The main conclusion is that, despite first appearances, so-called ‘Functional Beauty’ accounts cannot derive strength from analyses of artefact functions; on the contrary, these analyses constrain the possibilities for developing a suitable, function-based account of aesthetic appreciation. The paper follows a conceptual-engineering approach. After presenting desiderata for an account of aesthetic (...)
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  19.  21
    Artefacts in Analytic Metaphysics: Introduction.Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas - 2009 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13 (2):74-81.
    In this paper we examine the possibilities of combining two central intuitions about artefacts: that they are functional objects, and that they are non-natural objects. We do so in four steps. First we argue that, contrary to common opinion, functions cannot be the cornerstone of a characterisation of artefacts. Our argument suggests an alternative view, which characterises artefacts as objects embedded in what we call use plans. Second, we show that this plan-centred successor of the function-focused view is at odds (...)
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  20.  92
    Tales of Tools and Trees: Phylogenetic Analysis and Explanation in Evolutionary Archaeology.Wybo Houkes - 2010 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 89--100.
    In this paper, I study the application of phylogenetic analysis in evolutionary archaeology. I show how transfer of this apparently general analytic tool is affected by salient differences in disciplinary context. One is that archaeologists, unlike many biologists, do not regard cladistics as a tool for classification, but are primarily interested in explanation. The other is that explanation is traditionally sought in terms of individual-level rather than population-level mechanisms. The latter disciplinary difference creates an ambiguity in the application and interpretation (...)
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  21.  49
    Review of A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. [REVIEW]Wybo Houkes - 2010 - Techne 14 (3):270-272.
  22.  41
    The ICE-Theory of Technical Functions: Houkes, Wybo and Vermaas, Pieter E.: Technical Functions: On the Use and Design of Artefacts. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010, Viii+175pp, €99.95 HB.E. Weber, T. A. C. Reydon, M. Boon, W. Houkes & P. E. Vermaas - 2013 - Metascience 22 (1):23-44.
    The ICE-theory of technical functions Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9642-9 Authors E. Weber, Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ghent University (UGent), Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent, Belgium T. A. C. Reydon, Institute of Philosophy, Leibniz University Hannover, Im Moore 21, 30167 Hannover, Germany M. Boon, Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands W. Houkes, Philosophy and Ethics, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, (...)
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  23.  13
    Complexity and Technological Evolution: What Everybody Knows?Krist Vaesen & Wybo Houkes - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1245-1268.
    The consensus among cultural evolutionists seems to be that human cultural evolution is cumulative, which is commonly understood in the specific sense that cultural traits, especially technological traits, increase in complexity over generations. Here we argue that there is insufficient credible evidence in favor of or against this technological complexity thesis. For one thing, the few datasets that are available hardly constitute a representative sample. For another, they substantiate very specific, and usually different versions of the complexity thesis or, even (...)
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  24.  29
    Transfer and Templates in Scientific Modelling.Wybo Houkes & Sjoerd D. Zwart - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 77:93-100.
    The notion of template has recently been discussed in relation to cross-disciplinary transfer of modeling efforts and in relation to the representational content of models. We further develop and disambiguate the notion of template and find that, suitably developed, it is useful in distinguishing and analyzing different types of transfer, none of which supports a non-representationalist view of models. We illustrate our main findings with the modeling of technology substitution with Lotka-Volterra Competition equations.
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  25.  18
    Functions as Epistemic Highlighters: An Engineering Account of Technical, Biological and Other Functions.Pieter E. Vermaas & Wybo Houkes - 2013 - In Philippe Huneman (ed.), Functions: Selection and Mechanisms. Springer. pp. 213--231.
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  26.  9
    Produced to Use: Combining Two Key Intuitions on the Nature of Artefacts.Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas - 2009 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13 (2):123-136.
    In this paper we examine the possibilities of combining two central intuitions about artefacts: that they are functional objects, and that they are non-natural objects. We do so in four steps. First we argue that, contrary to common opinion, functions cannot be the cornerstone of a characterisation of artefacts. Our argument suggests an alternative view, which characterises artefacts as objects embedded in what we call use plans. Second, we show that this plan-centred successor of the function-focused view is at odds (...)
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  27.  24
    A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger (Review).Wybo Houkes - 2002 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40 (4):554-555.
    Wybo Houkes - A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:4 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.4 554-555 Book Review A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger Michael Friedman. A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger. Chicago: Open Court, 2000. Pp. xv + 175. Paper, $24.95. For present-day philosophers, the division between "analytic" and "continental" philosophy is a fact of life. In this elegant little book, Michael (...)
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  28.  10
    Review of A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. [REVIEW]Wybo Houkes - 2010 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 14 (3):270-272.
  29.  9
    Carnap on Logic and Experience.Wybo Houkes - 2002 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 9:287-298.
    In recent years, attention for the work of Rudolf Carnap has shifted from polemical discussion to placing Carnap in his intellectual context. Thus, the central question is no longer whether Carnap contributes to solving our current problems, but whether he solved the problems of his day and age. This contextualist approach has resulted in a deeper and more refined understanding of, in particular, Carnap’s early works and has focused on Der logische Aufbau der Welt.
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  30.  5
    Die methodische Philosophie Hugo Dinglers und der transzendentale Idealismus.. [REVIEW]Wybo Houkes - 2000 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (4):607.
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  31. Darwin voor scherven en schakelingen: een onderzoek naar evolutionaire modellen van artefacten.Wybo Houkes - 2008 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 100 (2):138-147.
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  32. The Open Border : Two Cases of Concept Transfer From Organisms to Artifacts.Wybo Houkes - 2009 - In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press.
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  33. Trading Ontology for Ideology. [REVIEW]Wybo Houkes - 2004 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 2.
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  34. Heidegger's Temporal Idealism, by William D. Blattner. [REVIEW]W. Houkes - 2001 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (1):94-97.
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  35. Wybo Houkes.Wybo Houkes - unknown - Wijsgerig Perspectief 50 (3).
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  36. Waar is dit ding voor? Een innovatieve etiologische theorie voor artefactfuncties.Wybo Houkes & Pieter Vermaas - 2002 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 94 (3).
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