Philosophy of Engineering and Technology

Technical Functions

On the Use and Design of Artefacts

Authors: Houkes, Wybo, Vermaas, Pieter E.

  • Is the first book-length study of technical artefacts and their functions
  • Offers state-of-the-art resources in analytical philosophy, such as the planning theory of action and analyses of testimony
  • Provides a framework for describing and evaluating artefact use and design
  • Contains the first and only theory of artefact functions that is faithful to the phenomenology of artefact use
  • Includes positioning of the functions of artefacts against those of biological items
  • Is a typical example of the new school of philosophy of technology that studies engineering and technology on its own merits
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eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3900-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3899-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-3197-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This first book-length study in the philosophy of technical artefacts and their technical functions presents a new action-theoretical account of using and designing called the ICE theory. This theory connects the material side of technical artefacts with the aims of everyday users and the tasks of engineers when designing for those everyday users.

Wybo Houkes and Pieter Vermaas have developed ICE theory in close contact with the engineering literature on designing and the literature on functions in the philosophy of biology and philosophy of mind. As such the book is a telling example of the successful new school of philosophy of technology that is aimed at understanding engineering and technology on their own merits.

The book presents the reader with a broad and detailed understanding of technical artefacts and their functions, which is sensitive to the dynamic and socially structured practices of using and designing. This understanding shows how our technology-saturated everyday life can be subjected to rigorous philosophical analysis, and how artefacts and technical functions provide an area of inquiry that is equally fascinating as, but genuinely different from, biological items and their functions.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3900-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3899-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-3197-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Technical Functions
Book Subtitle
On the Use and Design of Artefacts
Authors
Series Title
Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
Series Volume
1
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-90-481-3900-2
DOI
10.1007/978-90-481-3900-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-481-3899-9
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-3197-4
Series ISSN
1879-7202
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 174
Topics