Evidence affirms that aesthetic engagement patterns our movements, often with us barely aware. This invites an examination of pre-reflective engagement within cities and also aesthetic experience as a form of the pre-reflective. The invitation is amplified because design has political implications. For instance, it can draw people in or exclude them by establishing implicitly recognized public-private boundaries. The Value Sensitive Design school, which holds that artifacts embody ethical and political values, stresses some of this. But while emphasizing that (...)design embodies implicit values, research in this field lacks sustained attention to largely unconscious background biases or values, rooted in cultural attitudes and personal interests, that lead theorists and planners—often too narrowly—to promote design organized around specific values such as defensibility. In examining these points, I draw on J. J. Gibson, a central figure for some writing on aesthetics and cities, and whom pragmatists and phenomenologists in turn influenced. Taking a cue from pragmatists in particular, I argue Gibson’s perceptual theory of affordances entails a theory of values, meaning our perception and therewith movements are inherently value-based. I advocate design that accounts for relatively constantly held values such as safety, while also handling the vast pluralism that exists and not crushing the aesthetic vibrancy of city life. (shrink)
The two principal models of design in methodological circles in architecture—analysis/synthesis and conjecture/analysis—have their roots in philosophy of science, in different conceptions of scientific method. This paper explores the philosophical origins of these models and the reasons for rejecting analysis/synthesis in favour of conjecture/analysis, the latter being derived from Karl Popper’s view of scientific method. I discuss a fundamental problem with Popper’s view, however, and indicate a framework for conjecture/analysis to avoid this problem.
Philosophers expend considerable effort on the analysis of concepts, but the value of such work is not widely appreciated. This paper principally analyses some arguments, beliefs, and presuppositions about the nature of design and the relations between design and science common in the literature to illustrate this point, and to contribute to the foundations of design theory.
The discussion about relations between research and design has a number of strands, and presumably motivations. Putting aside the question whether or not design or “creative endeavour” should be counted as research, for reasons to do with institutional recognition or reward, the question remains how, if at all, is design research? This question is unlikely to have attracted much interest but for matters external to Architecture within the modern university. But Architecture as a discipline now needs to (...) understand research much better than in the past when ‘research’ was whatever went on in building science, history or people/environment studies. In this paper, I begin with some common assumptions about design, considered in relation to research, and suggest how the former can constitute or be a mode of the latter. Central to this consideration is an understanding of research as the production of publicly available knowledge. (shrink)
Underlying the development of inclusive design approaches seems to be the assumption that inclusivity automatically leads to good design. What good design means, however, and how this relates to inclusivity, is not very clear. In this paper we try to shed light on these questions. In doing so, we provide an argument for conceiving design as a deliberative enterprise. We point out how inclusivity and normative objectivity can be reconciled, by defining the norm of good (...) class='Hi'>design in terms of a deliberative cooperation between designers and the people they design for. In this view, a design is inclusive when it is produced by exploiting the information and competences at the disposal of the designer and the people she designs for in qualified circumstances. (shrink)
Design thinking in general, and optimality modeling in particular, have traditionally been associated with adaptationism—a research agenda that gives pride of place to natural selection in shaping biological characters. Our goal is to evaluate the role of design thinking in non-evolutionary analyses. Specifically, we focus on research into abstract design principles that underpin the functional organization of extant organisms. Drawing on case studies from engineering-inspired approaches in biology we show how optimality analysis, and other design-related methods, (...) play a specific methodological role that is tangential to the study of adaptation. To account for the role of these reasoning strategies in contemporary biology, we therefore suggest a reevaluation of the connection between design thinking and adaptationism. (shrink)
The prospective robots in healthcare intended to be included within the conclave of the nurse-patient relationship—what I refer to as care robots—require rigorous ethical reflection to ensure their design and introduction do not impede the promotion of values and the dignity of patients at such a vulnerable and sensitive time in their lives. The ethical evaluation of care robots requires insight into the values at stake in the healthcare tradition. What’s more, given the stage of their development and lack (...) of standards provided by the International Organization for Standardization to guide their development, ethics ought to be included into the design process of such robots. The manner in which this may be accomplished, as presented here, uses the blueprint of the Value-sensitive design approach as a means for creating a framework tailored to care contexts. Using care values as the foundational values to be integrated into a technology and using the elements in care, from the care ethics perspective, as the normative criteria, the resulting approach may be referred to as care centered value-sensitive design. The framework proposed here allows for the ethical evaluation of care robots both retrospectively and prospectively. By evaluating care robots in this way, we may ultimately ask what kind of care we, as a society, want to provide in the future. (shrink)
I review three answers to the question: How can phenomenology contribute to the experimental cognitive neurosciences? The first approach, neurophenomenology, employs phenomenological method and training, and uses first-person reports not just as more data for analysis, but to generate descriptive categories that are intersubjectively and scientifically validated, and are then used to interpret results that correlate with objective measurements of behaviour and brain activity. A second approach, indirect phenomenology, is shown to be problematic in a number of ways. Indirect phenomenology (...) is generally put to work after the experiment, in critical or creative interpretations of the scientific evidence. Ultimately, however, proposals for the indirect use of phenomenology lead back to methodological questions about the direct use of phenomenology in experimental design. The third approach, 'front-loaded' phenomenology, suggests that the results of phenomenological investigations can be used in the design of empirical ones. Concepts or clarifications that have been worked out phenomenologically may operate as a partial framework for experimentation. (shrink)
Four arguments are examined in order to assess the state of the Intelligent Design debate. First, critics continually cite the fact that ID proponents have religious motivations. When used as criticism of ID arguments, this is an obvious ad hominem. Nonetheless, philosophers and scientists alike continue to wield such arguments for their rhetorical value. Second, in his expert testimony in the Dover trial, philosopher Robert Pennock used repudiated claims in order to brand ID as a kind of pseudoscience. His (...) arguments hinge on the nature of methodological naturalism as a metatheoretic shaping principle. We examine the use of such principles in science and the history of science. Special attention is given to the demarcation problem. Third, the scientific merits of ID are examined. Critics rightly demand more than promissory notes for ID to move beyond the fringe. Fourth, although methodological naturalism gets a lot of attention, there is another shaping principle to contend with, namely, conservatism. Science, like most disciplines, tends to change in an incremental rather than revolutionary manner. When ID is compared to other non- or quasi-Darwinian proposals, it appears to be a more radical solution than is needed in the face of the anomalies. (shrink)
Unmanned systems in military applications will often play a role in determining the success or failure of combat missions and thus in determining who lives and dies in times of war. Designers of UMS must therefore consider ethical, as well as operational, requirements and limits when developing UMS. I group the ethical issues involved in UMS design under two broad headings, Building Safe Systems and Designing for the Law of Armed Conflict, and identify and discuss a number of issues (...) under each of these headings. As well as identifying issues, I offer some analysis of their implications and how they might be addressed. (shrink)
William Lane Craig has argued that there cannot be actual infinities because inverse operations are not well-defined for infinities. I point out that, in fact, there are mathematical systems in which inverse operations for infinities are well-defined. In particular, the theory introduced in John Conway's *On Numbers and Games* yields a well-defined field that includes all of Cantor's transfinite numbers.
Recently, there is increased attention to the integration of moral values into the conception, design, and development of emerging IT. The most reviewed approach for this purpose in ethics and technology so far is Value-Sensitive Design (VSD). This article considers VSD as the prime candidate for implementing normative considerations into design. Its methodology is considered from a conceptual, analytical, normative perspective. The focus here is on the suitability of VSD for integrating moral values into the design (...) of technologies in a way that joins in with an analytical perspective on ethics of technology. Despite its promising character, it turns out that VSD falls short in several respects: (1) VSD does not have a clear methodology for identifying stakeholders, (2) the integration of empirical methods with conceptual research within the methodology of VSD is obscure, (3) VSD runs the risk of committing the naturalistic fallacy when using empirical knowledge for implementing values in design, (4) the concept of values, as well as their realization, is left undetermined and (5) VSD lacks a complimentary or explicit ethical theory for dealing with value trade-offs. For the normative evaluation of a technology, I claim that an explicit and justified ethical starting point or principle is required. Moreover, explicit attention should be given to the value aims and assumptions of a particular design. The criteria of adequacy for such an approach or methodology follow from the evaluation of VSD as the prime candidate for implementing moral values in design. (shrink)
This paper considers ways that experimental design can affect judgments about informally presented context shifting experiments. Reasons are given to think that judgments about informal context shifting experiments are affected by an exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments and by experimenter bias. Exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments may produce experimental artifacts by obscuring important differences of degree between the phenomena being investigated. Experimenter bias is an effect generated when, for example, experimenters disclose (even unconsciously) their own (...) beliefs about the outcome of an experiment. Eliminating experimenter bias from context shifting experiments makes it far less obvious what the “intuitive” responses to those experiments are. After it is shown how those different kinds of bias can affect judgments about informal context shifting experiments, those experiments are revised to control for those forms of bias. The upshot of these investigations is that participants in the contextualist debate who employ informal experiments should pay just as much attention to the design of their experiments as those who employ more formal experimental techniques if they want to avoid obscuring the phenomena they aim to uncover. (shrink)
In recent controversies about Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC), the principle of methodological naturalism (MN) has played an important role. In this paper, an often neglected distinction is made between two different conceptions of MN, each with its respective rationale and with a different view on the proper role of MN in science. According to one popular conception, MN is a self-imposed or intrinsic limitation of science, which means that science is simply not equipped to deal with claims of the (...) supernatural (Intrinsic MN or IMN). Alternatively, we will defend MN as a provisory and empirically grounded attitude of scientists, which is justified in virtue of the consistent success of naturalistic explanations and the lack of success of supernatural explanations in the history of science (Provisory MN or PMN). Science does have a bearing on supernatural hypotheses, and its verdict is uniformly negative. We will discuss five arguments that have been proposed in support of IMN: the argument from the definition of science, the argument from lawful regularity, the science stopper argument, the argument from procedural necessity, and the testability argument. We conclude that IMN, because of its philosophical flaws, proves to be an ill-advised strategy to counter the claims of IDC. Evolutionary scientists are on firmer ground if they discard supernatural explanations on purely evidential grounds, instead of ruling them out by philosophical fiat. (shrink)
This paper aims at contributing to a research agenda in engineering ethics by exploring the ethical aspects of engineering design processes. A number of ethically relevant topics with respect to design processes are identified. These topics could be a subject for further research in the field of engineering ethics. In addition, it is argued that the way design processes are now organised and should be organised from a normative point of view is an important topic for research.
Recently, the Intelligent Design (ID) movement has challenged the claim of many in the scientific establishment that nature gives no empirical signs of having been deliberately designed. In particular, ID arguments in biology dispute the notion that neo-Darwinian evolution is the only viable scientific explanation of the origin of biological novelty, arguing that there are telltale signs of the activity of intelligence which can be recognized and studied empirically. In recent years, a number of Catholic philosophers, theologians, and scientists (...) have expressed opposition to ID. Some of these critics claim that there is a conflict between the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas and that of the ID movement, and even an affinity between Aquinas’s ideas and theistic Darwinism. We consider six such criticisms and find each wanting. (shrink)
Engineers are normally seen as the archetype of people who make decisions in a rational and quantitative way. However, technological design is not value neutral. The way a technology is designed determines its possibilities, which can, for better or for worse, have consequences for human wellbeing. This leads various scholars to the claim that engineers should explicitly take into account ethical considerations. They are at the cradle of new technological developments and can thereby influence the possible risks and benefits (...) more directly than anybody else. I have argued elsewhere that emotions are an indispensable source of ethical insight into ethical aspects of risk. In this paper I will argue that this means that engineers should also include emotional reflection into their work. This requires a new understanding of the competencies of engineers: they should not be unemotional calculators; quite the opposite, they should work to cultivate their moral emotions and sensitivity, in order to be engaged in morally responsible engineering. (shrink)
Looking for an adequate explication of the concept of a biological function, several authors have proposed to link function to design. Unfortunately, known explications of biological design in turn refer to functions. The concept of general design I will introduce here breaks up this circle. I specify design with respect to its ontogenetic role. This allows function to be based on design without making reference to the history of the design, or to the phylogeny (...) of an organism, while retaining the normative aspect of function ascriptions. The concept is applicable to the function and design of technical artifacts as well. Several problems well known with other definitions can be overcome by this approach. (shrink)
In his recent anthology, Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against Intelligent Design, there are many interesting topics in the philosophy of science to be found. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing intrinsically unscientific about (...) Intelligent Design. At this stage, however, it remains more of a provocative idea than a research program. Whether design theorists can bridge this gap is still very much in question. In any case, the debate serves as a modern case study for such classic problems as the nature of scientific explanations, theory change, the demarcation problem, and the role of metaphysical assumptions in the development of science. (shrink)
While a great deal of abuse has been directed at intelligent design theory (ID), its starting point is a fact about biological organisms that cries out for explanation, namely "specified complexity" (SC). Advocates of ID deploy three kind of argument from specified complexity to the existence of a designer: an eliminative argument, an inductive argument, and an inference to the best explanation. Only the first of these merits the abuse directed at it; the other two arguments are worthy of (...) respect. If they fail, it is only because we have a better explanation of SC, namely Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
Jonathan Weisberg (2010 ) argues that, given that life exists, the fact that the universe is fine-tuned for life does not confirm the design hypothesis. And if the fact that life exists confirms the design hypothesis, fine-tuning is irrelevant. So either way, fine-tuning has nothing to do with it. I will defend a design argument that survives Weisberg’s critique — the fact that life exists supports the design hypothesis, but it only does so given fine-tuning.
An accountability-based privacy governance model is one where organizations are charged with societal objectives, such as using personal information in a manner that maintains individual autonomy and which protects individuals from social, financial and physical harms, while leaving the actual mechanisms for achieving those objectives to the organization. This paper discusses the essential elements of accountability identified by the Galway Accountability Project, with scholarship from the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams LLP. Conceptual Privacy by Design (...) principles are offered as criteria for building privacy and accountability into organizational information management practices. The authors then provide an example of an organizational control process that uses the principles to implement the essential elements. Initially developed in the ‘90s to advance privacy-enhancing information and communication technologies, Dr. Ann Cavoukian has since expanded the application of Privacy by Design principles to include business processes. (shrink)
Ethical decision making involves complex emotional, cognitive, social, and philosophical challenges. Even if someone wants to be ethical, he or she may not have clearly articulated what that means, or know how to go about making a decision consistent with his or her values. Information technology may be able to help. A decision support system could offer individuals and groups some guidance, assisting them in making a decision that reflects their underlying values. The first step towards a design science (...) of ethical decision support is to develop a theoretical base on which first-generation systems can be built. This paper brings together work in cognitive, social and moral psychology, information systems, and philosophy relevant to ethical decision making. Attributes of a system that would support ethical decision making are described. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with reasonings that purport to explain why certain organisms have certain traits by showing that their actual design is better than contrasting designs. Biologists call such reasonings 'functional explanations'. To avoid confusion with other uses of that phrase, I call them 'design explanations'. This paper discusses the structure of design explanations and how they contribute to scientific understanding. Design explanations are contrastive and often compare real organisms to hypothetical organisms that cannot possibly (...) exist. They are not causal but appeal to functional dependencies between an organism's different traits. These explanations point out that because an organism has certain traits, it cannot be alive if the trait to be explained were replaced by a specified alternative. They can be understood from a mechanistic point of view as revealing the constraints on what mechanisms can be alive. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga argues by counterexample that no naturalistic account of functions is possible--God is then the only source for natural functions. This paper replies to Plantinga's examples and arguments. Plantinga misunderstands naturalistic accounts. Plantinga's mistakes flow from his assimilation of functional notions in general to functions from intentional design in particular.
Critical notice assessing the use of information theory in the attempt to build a design inference, and to re-establish some aspects of the program of natural theology, as carried out in this third major monograph devoted to the subject of intelligent design theory by mathematician and philosopher William A. Dembski, after The Design Inference (1998) and No Free Lunch (2002).
This article offers a discussion of the connection between technology and values and, specifically, I take a closer look at ethically sound design. In order to bring the discussion into a concrete context, the theory of Value Sensitive Design (VSD) will be the focus point. To illustrate my argument concerning design ethics, the discussion involves a case study of an augmented window, designed by the VSD Research Lab, which has turned out to be a potentially surveillance-enabling technology. (...) I call attention to a “positivist problem” that has to do with the connection between the design context and the use context, which VSD seems to presuppose, and I argue that it is necessary to clearly distinguish between the two, since the designers’ intentions do not always correspond with the users’ practice; in fact, the relation between design and use is very complex and principally unpredictable. Thus, a design theory must accept that foresight is limited to anticipation rather than prediction. To overcome the positivist problem, I suggest a phenomenological approach to technology inspired by Don Ihde’s concept of multistability. This argument, which is general in nature and thus applies to any theory of design ethics, is intended as a constructive criticism, which can hopefully contribute to the further development of design ethics. (shrink)
In order to fulfill ABET requirements, Northern Arizona University’s Civil and Environmental engineering programs incorporate professional ethics in several of its engineering courses. This paper discusses an ethics module in a 3rd year engineering design course that focuses on the design process and technical writing. Engineering students early in their student careers generally possess good black/white critical thinking skills on technical issues. Engineering design is the first time students are exposed to “grey” or multiple possible solution technical (...) problems. To identify and solve these problems, the engineering design process is used. Ethical problems are also “grey” problems and present similar challenges to students. Students need a practical tool for solving these ethical problems. The step-wise engineering design process was used as a model to demonstrate a similar process for ethical situations. The ethical decision making process of Martin and Schinzinger was adapted for parallelism to the design process and presented to students as a step-wise technique for identification of the pertinent ethical issues, relevant moral theories, possible outcomes and a final decision. Students had greatest difficulty identifying the broader, global issues presented in an ethical situation, but by the end of the module, were better able to not only identify the broader issues, but also to more comprehensively assess specific issues, generate solutions and a desired response to the issue. (shrink)
This study explored employee perceptions of participation in a corporate-sponsored volunteer initiative. Drawing on both questionnaire and focus group data, this study reaffirms the importance of altruistic concerns as a key driver for employee involvement in corporatesponsored volunteering. Characteristics of the volunteering activity also emerged as important determinants of employee's initial engagement and ongoing motivation for involvement in corporate-sponsored volunteering. In the same way that models of work design point to the value of enriched jobs, we see that there (...) is scope to consider how corporate-sponsored volunteer programmes can be enriched so that employees have satisfying experiences and are more likely to participate. Enhancing perceptions of task significance and meaningfulness and incorporating relational elements into the volunteer activity seem to be especially critical in this regard. (shrink)
In this book, first published in 2004, William Dembski, Michael Ruse, and other prominent philosophers provide a comprehensive balanced overview of the debate concerning biological origins - a controversial dialectic since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. Invariably, the source of controversy has been 'design'. Is the appearance of design in organisms the result of purely natural forces acting without prevision or teleology? Or, does the appearance of design signify genuine prevision and teleology, and, if (...) so, is that design empirically detectable and thus open to scientific inquiry? Four main positions have emerged in response to these questions: Darwinism, self-organisation, theistic evolution, and intelligent design. The contributors to this volume define their respective positions in an accessible style, inviting readers to draw their own conclusions. Two introductory essays furnish a historical overview of the debate. (shrink)
The design argument was rebutted by David Hume. He argued that the world and its contents (such as organisms) were not analogous to human artifacts. Hume further suggested that there were equally plausible alternatives to design to explain the organized complexity of the cosmos, such as random processes in multiple universes, or that matter could have inherent properties to self-organize, absent any external crafting. William Paley, writing after Hume, argued that the functional complexity of living beings, however, defied (...) naturalistic explanations. In effect he dared anyone to come up with an alternative to his inference to design, and hence a designer, outside of nature. Charles Darwin explained the apparent design of functional complexity by his theory of natural selection. Asa Gray, however, in essays as well as in correspondence with Darwin argued that natural selection allowed for a type of ' evolutionary teleology' in which design at most could be considered the result of universal principles. F. E. Hicks updated Hume by specifically objecting to the use of design arguments by Paley. Hicks argued that the apparent design seen in nature reflected order at a deep level in nature. The design argument was briefly revived by Lawrence Henderson early in the twentieth century but he ultimately concluded that design and teleology were not necessarily mutually entailing and he retracted his design argument in favor of one that he termed ' natural teleology'. The current claims of ' intelligent design' have the same logical problems that have beset previous design arguments. If design is divorced from teleology and its discontents put behind us, then there is a possibility that the latter can have a place in the development of theories to explain the phenomena of emergent complexity. (shrink)
“Intelligent Design” (ID) is a contemporary intellectual movement arguing that there is scientific evidence for the existence of some sort of creator. Its proponents see ID as a scientific research program and as a way to build a bridge between science and theology, while many critics see it merely as a repackaged form of religiously motivated creationism: both bad science and bad theology. In this article, I offer a close reading of the ID movement's critique of theistic evolutionism and (...) argue that this critique is ultimately in tension with the movement's broader thought. (shrink)
In November, 2009, a prominent group of privacy professionals, business leaders, information technology specialists, and academics gathered in Madrid to discuss how the next set of threats to privacy could best be addressed.The event, Privacy by Design: The Definitive Workshop, was co-hosted by my office and that of the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority. It marked the latest step in a journey that I began in the 1990’s, when I first focused on enlisting the support of technologies that (...) could enhance privacy. Back then, privacy protection relied primarily upon legislation and regulatory frameworks—in an effort to offer remedies for data breaches, after they had occurred. As information technology became increasingly interconnected and the volume of personal information collected began to explode, it became clear that a new way of thinking about privacy was needed.Privacy-Enhancing Technologies paved the way for that new direction, highlighting how the universal pr .. (shrink)
The eminent historian and philosopher of biology, Michael Ruse, has written several books that explore the relationship of evolutionary theory to its larger scientific and cultural setting. Among the questions he has investigated are: Is evolution progressive? What is its epistemological status? Most recently, in "Darwin and Design: Does Evolution have a Purpose?," Ruse has provided a history of the concept of teleology in biological thinking, especially in evolutionary theorizing. In his book, he moves quickly from Plato and Aristotle (...) to Kant and such British thinkers as Paley and Whewell. His main focus, though, is on Darwin's theory and its subsequent fate. Ruse rests his history on some shaky historical and philosophic assumptions, particularly the unexamined notion that evolutionary theory is an abstract entity that is unproblematically realized in different historical periods. He also assumes that Darwin conceived nature as if it were a Manchester spinning loom -- a clanking, dispassionate machine. A more subtle analysis, which Ruse eschews, might discover that Darwin's conception of nature owed a strong debt to German Romanticism and that he contrived to infuse nature with moral and aesthetic values, not to suck them from nature. Ruse proves he is a thinker to contend with, and this essay is quite contentious. (shrink)
William Dembski claims to have established a decision process to determine when highly unlikely events observed in the natural world are due to Intelligent Design. This article argues that, as no implementable randomness test is superior to a universal Martin-Löf test, this test should be used to replace Dembski's decision process. Furthermore, Dembski's decision process is flawed, as natural explanations are eliminated before chance. Dembski also introduces a fourth law of thermodynamics, his “law of conservation of information,” to argue (...) that information cannot increase by natural processes. However, this article, using algorithmic information theory, shows that this law is no more than the second law of thermodynamics. The article concludes that any discussions on the possibilities of design interventions in nature should be articulated in terms of the algorithmic information theory approach to randomness and its robust decision process. (shrink)
Sober has reconstructed the biological design argument in the framework of likelihoodism, purporting to demonstrate that it is defective for intrinsic reasons. We argue that Sober’s restriction on the introduction of auxiliary hypotheses is too restrictive, as it commits him to rejecting types of everyday reasoning that are clearly valid. Our account shows that the design argument fails, not because it is intrinsically untestable but because it clashes with the empirical evidence and fails to satisfy certain theoretical desiderata (...) (in particular, unification). Likewise, Sober’s critique of the arguments from imperfections and from evil against design is off the mark. (shrink)
Intelligent Design creationism is often criticized for failing to be science because it falls afoul of some demarcation criterion between science and non-science. This paper argues that this objection to Intelligent Design is misplaced because it assumes that a consistent non-theological characterization of Intelligent Design is possible. In contrast, it argues that, if Intelligent Design is taken to be non-theological doctrine, it is not intelligible. Consequently, a demarcation criterion cannot be used to judge its status. This (...) position has the added advantage of providing reasons to reject Intelligent Design creationism without invoking potentially philosophically controversial demarcation criteria. (shrink)
The paper examines how technology challenges conventional borders of national legal systems, as shown by cases that scholars address as a part of their everyday work in the fields of information technology (IT)-Law, i.e., computer crimes, data protection, digital copyright, and so forth. Information on the internet has in fact a ubiquitous nature that transcends political borders and questions the notion of the law as made of commands enforced through physical sanctions. Whereas many of today’s impasses on jurisdiction, international conflicts (...) of law and diverging interpretations of statutes can be addressed by embedding legal safeguards in ICT and other kinds of technology, to overcome the ineffectiveness of state action by design entails its own risks, e.g., threats of paternalism hinging on the regulatory tools of technology. Rather than modelling people’s behaviour by design, the article suggests that design policies should respect individual and collective autonomy by decreasing the impact of harm-generating behaviour (e.g., security measures and default settings for data protection), or by widening the range of people’s choices (e.g., user friendly interfaces). (shrink)
Intelligent design creationism (ID) is a religious belief requiring a supernatural creator's interventions in the natural order. ID thus brings with it, as does supernatural theism by its nature, intractable epistemological difficulties. Despite these difficulties and despite ID's defeat in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), ID creationists' continuing efforts to promote the teaching of ID in public school science classrooms threaten both science education and the separation of church and state guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution. I (...) examine the ID movement's failure to provide either a methodology or a functional epistemology to support their supernaturalism, a deficiency that consequently leaves them without epistemic support for their creationist claims. My examination focuses primarily on ID supporter Francis Beckwith, whose published defenses of teaching ID, as well as his other relevant publications concerning education, law, and public policy, have been largely exempt from critical scrutiny. Beckwith's work exhibits the epistemological deficiencies of the supernaturally grounded views of his ID associates and of supernaturalists in general. I preface my examination of Beckwith's arguments with (1) philosopher of science Susan Haack's clarification of the established naturalistic methodology and epistemology of science and (2) discussions of the views of Beckwith's ID associates Phillip Johnson and William Dembski. Finally, I critique the religious exclusionism that Beckwith shares with his ID associates and the implications of his exclusionism for public policy. (shrink)
My purpose, in this paper, is to defend the claim that the fine-tuning argument suffers from the poor design worry. Simply put, the worry is this: if God created the universe, specifically with the purpose of bringing about moral agents, we would antecedently predict that the universe and the laws of nature, taken as a whole, would be well-equipped to do just that. However, in light of how rare a life-permitting universe is, compared to all the ways the universe (...) might be have been life-prohibiting given the laws of physics, strongly suggests that the universe was poorly designed for that purpose. This casts doubt on the claim that God has much to do with designing the universe. First, I introduce the fine-tuning argument, and second, I explain and defend the poor design worry against objections that, while apparently compelling, I argue are misleading. (shrink)
Analysis of the adequacy of engineering design methods, as well as analysis of the utility of concepts of function often invoked in these methods, is a neglected topic in both philosophy of technology and in engineering proper. In this paper, I present an approach—dubbed an explanationist perspective—for assessing the adequacy of function-based design methods. Engineering design is often intertwined with explanation, for instance, in reverse engineering and subsequent redesign, knowledge base-assisted designing, and diagnostic reasoning. I argue that (...) the presented approach is useful for validating function-based design methods with respect to their explanatory elements and that it supports assessment of the explanatory and design utility of “function”, and the different conceptualizations thereof, as used in such engineering design methods. I deploy two key desiderata from the explanation literature to assess the viability of function-based design methods: explanatorily relevant difference-making factors and counterfactual understanding defined in terms of what-if-things-had-been-different questions. I explicate the approach and its merits in terms of two case studies drawn from the engineering functional modeling literature: reverse engineering and redesign and malfunction analysis. I close the paper by discussing ramifications of the presented approach for the philosophy of design and the philosophy of explanation. (shrink)
The Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) has declared that to achieve accredited status, “engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.” Many engineering professors struggle to integrate this required ethics instruction in technical classes and projects because of the lack of a formalized ethics-in-design approach. However, one methodology developed in human-computer interaction research, the Value-Sensitive Design approach, can serve as an engineering education tool which bridges the gap between (...) class='Hi'>design and ethics for many engineering disciplines. The three major components of Value-Sensitive Design, conceptual, technical, and empirical, exemplified through a case study which focuses on the development of a command and control supervisory interface for a military cruise missile. (shrink)
Research on innovation often highlights analogies from sources outside the current problem domain as a major source of novel concepts; however, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are not well understood. We analyzed the temporal interplay between far analogy use and creative concept generation in a professional design team's brainstorming conversations, investigating the hypothesis that far analogies lead directly to very novel concepts via large steps in conceptual spaces . Surprisingly, we found that concepts were more similar to their preceding (...) concepts after far analogy use compared to baseline situations . Yet far analogies increased the team's concept generation rate compared to baseline conditions. Overall, these results challenge the view that far analogies primarily lead to novel concepts via jumps in conceptual spaces and suggest alternative pathways from far analogies to novel concepts. (shrink)
Although applications are being developed and have reached the market, nanopharmacy to date is generally still conceived as an emerging technology. Its concept is ill-defined. Nanopharmacy can also be construed as a converging technology, which combines features of multiple technologies, ranging from nanotechnology to medicine and ICT. It is still debated whether its features give rise to new ethical issues or that issues associated with nanopharma are merely an extension of existing issues in the underlying fields. We argue here that, (...) regardless of the alleged newness of the ethical issues involved, developments occasioned by technological advances affect the roles played by stakeholders in the field of nanopharmacy to such an extent that this calls for a different approach to responsible innovation in this field. Specific features associated with nanopharmacy itself and features introduced to the associated converging technologies- bring about a shift in the roles of stakeholders that call for a different approach to responsibility. We suggest that Value Sensitive Design is a suitable framework to involve stakeholders in addressing moral issues responsibly at an early stage of development of new nanopharmaceuticals. (shrink)
The concept of privacy by design is becoming increasingly popular among regulators of information and communications technologies. This paper aims at analysing and discussing the ethical implications of this concept for personal health monitoring. I assume a privacy theory of restricted access and limited control. On the basis of this theory, I suggest a version of the concept of privacy by design that constitutes a middle road between what I call broad privacy by design and narrow privacy (...) by design. The key feature of this approach is that it attempts to balance automated privacy protection and autonomously chosen privacy protection in a way that is context-sensitive. In personal health monitoring, this approach implies that in some contexts like medication assistance and monitoring of specific health parameters one single automatic option is legitimate, while in some other contexts, for example monitoring in which relatives are receivers of health-relevant information rather than health care professionals, a multi-choice approach stressing autonomy is warranted. (shrink)
There seems to be a widespread conviction — evidenced, for example, in the work of Mackie, Dawkins and Sober — that it is Darwinian rather than Humean considerations which deal the fatal logical blow to arguments for intelligent design. I argue that this conviction cannot be well-founded. If there are current logically decisive objections to design arguments, they must be Humean — for Darwinian considerations count not at all against design arguments based upon apparent cosmological fine-tuning. I (...) argue, further, that there are good Humean reasons for atheists and agnostics to resist the suggestion that apparent design — apparent biological design and/or apparent cosmological fine-tuning — establishes (or even strongly supports) the hypothesis of intelligent design. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 22 It is often claimed that, as a result of scientific progress, we now _know_ that the natural world displays no design. Although we have no interest in defending design hypotheses, we will argue that establishing claims to the effect that we know the denials of design hypotheses is more difficult than it seems. We do so by issuing two skeptical challenges to design-deniers. The first challenge draws inspiration from radical skepticism and (...) shows how design claims are at least as compelling as radical skeptical scenarios in undermining knowledge claims, and in fact probably more so. The second challenge takes its cue from skeptical theism and shows how we are typically not in an epistemic position to rule out design. (shrink)
Philosophers have talked to each other about moral issues concerning technology, but few of them have talked about issues of technology and the good life, and even fewer have talked about technology and the good life with the public in the form of recommendation. In effect, recommendations for various technologies are often left to technologists and gurus. Given the potential benefits of informing the public on their impacts on the good life, however, this is a curious state of affairs. In (...) the present paper, I will examine why philosophers are seemingly reluctant to offer recommendations to the public. While there are many reasons for philosophers to refrain from offering recommendations, I shall focus on a specific normative reason. More specifically, it appears that, according to a particular definition, offering recommendations can be viewed as paternalistic, and therefore is prima facie wrong to do so. I will provide an argument to show that the worry about paternalism is unfounded, because a form of paternalism engendered by technology is inevitable. Given the inevitability of paternalism, I note that philosophers should accept the duty to offer recommendations to the public. I will then briefly turn to design ethics, which has reconceptualised the role of philosophers and, in my mind, fitted well with the inevitability of paternalism. Finally, I shall argue that design ethics has to be supplemented by the practice of recommendation if it is to sustain its objective. (shrink)
Intelligent design theorist William Dembski has proposed an ``explanatory filter'' for distinguishing between events due to chance,lawful regularity or design. We show that if Dembski's filter were adopted as a scientific heuristic, some classical developments in science would not be rational, and that Dembski's assertion that the filter reliably identifies rarefied design requires ignoring the state of background knowledge. If background information changes even slightly, the filter's conclusion will vary wildly. Dembski fails to overcome Hume's objections to (...) arguments from design. (shrink)