- Introducing the Philosophy of Technology
- What Is Living and What Is Dead in Classic European Philosophy of Technology?
- Philosophy of Technology between the Continental and Analytic Traditions
- Whence and W(h)ither Technology Ethics
- Styles of Objectivity in Scientific Instrumentation
- Engineering Knowledge
- The Epistemic Role of Technical Functions
- Revisiting Smartness in the Smart City
- Philosophy of Technology as Politics
- Postcolonialism and Technologies of Identification
- Rawls, Information Technology, and the Sociotechnical Bases of Self-Respect
- Freedom in an Age of Algocracy
- (Bio)technology, Identity, and the Other
- The Technological Uncanny as a Permanent Dimension of Selfhood
- Technology and the Ontology of the Virtual
- Using Philosophy of Language in Philosophy of Technology
- What Is It Like to Be a Bot?
- Technological Multistability and the Trouble with the Things Themselves
- Understanding Engineering Design and Its Social, Political, and Moral Dimensions
- Virtual Reality Media and Aesthetics
- Evaluation, Validation, and Management in Design
- Urban Aesthetics and Technology
- Science Fiction Futures and (Re)visions of the Anthropocene
- A Framework for Thawing Value Conflicts in the GMO Debate
- The Minded Body in Technology and Disability
- Outer Space as a New Frontier for Technology Ethics
- Technology, Cognitive Enhancement, and Virtue Ethics
- Towards an Existential and Emancipatory Ethic of Technology
- Why Confucianism Matters in Ethics of Technology
- Reflections on Promises and Perils Thinking for Emerging Technologies
- The Empirical Turn
- Care Ethics, Philosophy of Technology, and Robots in Humanitarian Action
Abstract and Keywords
Technical functions of artifacts are commonly distinguished from their social functions and from biological functions of organisms. Schemes for classifying functions often encounter what the author calls the continuum problem—the imperceptible merger of function kinds. This is a special case of a debate about natural kinds in philosophy of science, which has resulted in a turn to an epistemological construal of kinds, in contrast to the traditional, purely ontological construal. The author argues for an epistemic analysis of function kinds along the lines of John Dupré’s (1993) “promiscuous realism.” This provides leverage for asking new and important questions about the epistemic purposes served by our various schemes for classifying artifact functions, and about the epistemic role of technical functions in particular. The author argues that the common classification into technical, social, and biological functions has more disadvantages than it has advantages.
University of Georgia, Department of Philosophy
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