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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 48, 2008

Philosophy of Technology

Lingling Luo
Pages 165-176


First of all, this paper defines design relation to engineering technology, in terms of philosophy, as the process of externalizing the subject’s consciousness as a medium replacement for a practical technical substance. The essence of design is to exhibit the careful foresight of practical possibility of technical principle and hominisation of technology. Practical possibility means a coincidence between technical principle and social need,technical production is shaped by social restriction. The hominisation of technology means a linkage of human properties with natural attributes. For that reason, technical principle demands personifying so as to be used by man. Secondly, this paper also discusses functions and characteristics of design. The appearance of design gives to knowledge of technology a unique form—a medium replacement or called correct ideology of technology; the appearance of modern design promotes occupation of designer, so individual of technological system is replaced in principle; the appearance of design also separates technical subject into mental subject and manual subject, strengthening the dominant position of mental subject. The separation of technical subject, hence, gives rise to the correct ideology of technical subject at different stages. Compared with science and arts, design has it as its characteristics to solve problems having no definite answers, which are limited under many conditions. Design is a kind of careful prevision without doing on the-spot making of objects. Design is an art to satisfy practical function and mass-production. The medium-tool plays an important role in design. Key words: Activity of Engineering Technology; Designing philosophy; the essence of design; a medium replacement; correct ideology of technical subject.

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