• Peter Kroes
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 6)


In this epilogue I start with a recapitulation of the dual-nature thesis of technical artefacts while highlighting its main innovative features in comparison to existing theories of technical artefacts and technical functions. Then, looking ahead to interesting topics of further research, I propose to shift attention from technical artefacts taken in isolation, as I have done in this book, to technical artefacts as embedded within social systems. These broader systems are usually referred to as ‘socio-technical’ systems. The notion of a socio-technical system opens up new and interesting ways to study the mutual interaction between the technical and the social world and is rapidly gaining currency in various fields of study. However, a clear conceptualization of this kind of system is still lacking. As their name already indicates, socio-technical systems seem to have a hybrid nature as well, but a brief look suffices to show that the kind of hybridity encountered here is different from the hybridity of technical artefacts.


Technical Function Social World Technical System Dual Nature Social Object 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Kroes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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