By L. Tondl (auth.), Friedrich Rapp (eds.)
The hugely subtle ideas of recent engineering are often conceived of in functional phrases. equivalent to the instrumental functionality of know-how, they're designed to direct the forces of nature in accordance with human reasons. but, once the world of mere abilities is passed, the meant beneficial effects can simply be completed via deliberate and preconceived motion tactics concerning the intentionally thought of software of good designed instruments and units. this is often to claim that during all advanced circumstances theoretical reasoning turns into an necessary potential to complete the pragmatic technological goals. as a result the abstracting from the particular concrete functionality of expertise opens tips on how to focus consciousness at the common conceptual framework concerned. If this method is followed the appropriate wisdom and the strategies utilized sincerely show a common sense in their personal. This viewpoint ends up in a methodological or even an epistemological research of the theoretical constitution and the explicit equipment of method attribute of contemporary know-how. Investigations of this sort, that may be defined as belonging to an ana lytical philosophy of know-how, shape the subject of this anthology. the kind of learn in query this is heavily such as that of the philosophy of technological know-how. however it is an miraculous proven fact that the generally accredited and thoroughly investigated philosophy of technology has no longer but came upon its counterpart in a longtime philosophy of technology.
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Additional info for Contributions to a Philosophy of Technology: Studies in the Structure of Thinking in the Technological Sciences
On the other hand, the rule that commands greasing cars periodically is based on the law that lubricators decrease the wearing out of parts by friction; this is neither a convention nor a rule of thumb like those of cooking and politicking - it is a well-grounded rule. To decide that a rule is effective it is necessary, though insufficient, to show that it has been successful in a high percentage of cases. But these cases might be just coincidences, such as those that may have consecrated the magic rituals that accompanied the huntings of primitive man.
But this does not eliminate their differences, and the process is but the outcome TECHNOLOGY AS APPLIED SCIENCE 29 of an increasingly scientific approach to practical problems, that is, of a diffusion of the scientific method. The identification of knowledge and practice stems not only from a failure to analyze either but also from a legitimate wish to avoid the two extremes of speculative theory and blind action. But the testability of theories and the possibility of improving the rationality of action are not best defended by blurring the differences between theorizing and doing, or by asserting that action is the test of theory, because both theses are false and no program is defensible ifit rests on plain falsity.
In the language of the natural sciences this character can be expressed in very different ways, for example, by referring to the conditions which do or do not bring about a certain kind of 'behaviour', by referring to causal relations, in formulations of the type 'if ... , then ... ', etc. For example, under conditions of normal pressure, water between the temperatures of 0 °C and 100°C is in a liquid state, it 'behaves' as a liquid. The concept of 'behaviour' can also be explained in the terminology of the cybernetic approach: By 'behaviour' we understand the pattern of the output sequence as dependent on the pattern of the input sequence.