Technology Development as a Normative Practice: A Meaning-Based Approach to Learning About Values in Engineering—Damming as a Case Study

Mahdi G. Nia, Mehdi F. Harandi, Marc J. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Engineering, as a complex and multidimensional practice of technology development, has long been a source of ethical concerns. These concerns have been approached from various perspectives. There are ongoing debates in the literature of the philosophy of engineering/technology about how to organize an optimized view of the values entailed in technology development processes. However, these debates deliver little in the way of a concrete rationale or framework that could comprehensively describe different types of engineering values and their multi-aspect interrelations in real engineering practices. Approaching engineering values from a meaning-based perspective, as in this paper, can be a reliable method of tackling such a controversial problem. This paper therefore proposes that technology development be considered a systemic normative practice and attempts to provide a comprehensive view of various built-in values, their different origins and features, and a way of prioritizing them in real engineering processes. Studying two cases of the Zayandeh Rood Dam and the Abbasi Dam will lead to practical insights into how to understand norms in technology development and incorporate them into engineering practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Dooyeweerd’s ontological account
  • Normative constitutive rules
  • Normative practice
  • Normative regulative rules
  • Normativity
  • Technology development

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Technology Development as a Normative Practice: A Meaning-Based Approach to Learning About Values in Engineering—Damming as a Case Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this