Technical Functions - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Judging Actions and Artifacts

All intentional human behaviors or actions are subject to normative judgments. These judgments are of two sorts: deontic and evaluative. Deontic judgments express what one ought and ought not to do or what one has reasons for doing. Evaluative judgments describe something as good or bad. Using an artifact is subject to these types of judgments, in the first place because it is a form of action. It is generally wrong, for example, to hurt another person with a knife, which is merely a specification of the judgment that one ought, generally, not to hurt someone.

Additionally, however, the use of artifacts is subject to judgments that relate directly to the particular function of the artifact. For instance, one may say that it is wrong to use a Phillips screwdriver to open a paint can. Assuming that the attempt to open the can is...

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This section contains 2,704 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Technical Functions Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Technical Functions from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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