Norms in Technology

  • Marc J. de Vries
  • Sven Ove Hansson
  • Anthonie W.M. Meijers

Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 9)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Sven Ove Hansson, Anthonie W. M. Meijers, Marc J. de Vries
    Pages 1-11
  3. Normativity in Technological Knowledge and Action

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Anthonie W. M. Meijers, Peter A. Kroes
      Pages 15-34
    3. Marc J. de Vries, Anthonie W. M. Meijers
      Pages 55-65
    4. Karin Edvardsson Björnberg
      Pages 83-99
  4. Normativity and Artefact Norms

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 101-101
    2. Krist Vaesen
      Pages 119-136
    3. Maarten Franssen
      Pages 155-169
  5. Normativity and Technological Risks

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Niklas Möller
      Pages 173-191
    3. Martin Peterson, Nicolas Espinoza
      Pages 193-206
    4. Per Sandin
      Pages 207-221
    5. Philip J. Nickel
      Pages 223-237
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 239-241

About this book


This book is a distinctive fusion of philosophy and technology, delineating the normative landscape that informs today’s technologies and tomorrow’s inventions. The authors examine what we deem to be the internal norms that govern our ever-expanding technical universe. Recognizing that developments in technology and engineering literally create our human future, transforming existing knowledge into tomorrow’s tools and infrastructure, they chart the normative criteria we use to evaluate novel technological artifacts: how, for example, do we judge a ‘good’ from a ‘bad’ expert system or nuclear power plant? As well as these ‘functional’ norms, and the norms that guide technological knowledge and reasoning, the book examines commonly agreed benchmarks in safety and risk reduction, which play a pivotal role in engineering practice.

Informed by the core insight that, in technology and engineering, factual knowledge relating, for example, to the properties of materials or the load-bearing characteristics of differing construction designs is not enough, this analysis follows the often unseen foundations upon which technologies rest—the norms that guide the creative forces shaping the technical landscape to come. The book, a comprehensive survey of these emerging topics in the philosophy of technology, clarifies the role these norms (epistemological, functional, and risk-assessing) play in technological innovation, and the consequences they have for our understanding of technological knowledge.


Artifactual Norms Ethics Artifacts Ethics Risk Instrument Artifact Functions and Normativity Normativity and Artefact Norms Normativity and Technological Risks Normativity in Normativity in Technological Knowledge Norms and Engineering Technological Artefacts Norms Technological Risks Norms Technology Normativity The Venice Dams case The artefact as agent

Editors and affiliations

  • Marc J. de Vries
    • 1
  • Sven Ove Hansson
    • 2
  • Anthonie W.M. Meijers
    • 3
  1. 1.Industrial engineering & Innovation sc., Philosophy & EthicsEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenNetherlands
  2. 2.Div. PhilosophyRoyal Institute of Technology (KTH)StockholmSweden
  3. 3., PhilosophyEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenNetherlands

Bibliographic information