Article ID: CBB483186356

Technik, Techniker und Verantwortung im 20. Jahrhundert in Deutschland. Plädoyer für eine Begriffsgeschichte (2016)

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Zusammenfassung Untersuchungsgegenstand ist, wie in der Zeit zwischen dem Kaiserreich und dem Ende der Weimarer Republik die Ethik der Technik verstanden wurde. Die gut erforschten Fragen nach der Emanzipation der Ingenieure als Berufsstand und die Debatten um den „Kulturfaktor Technik“ zwischen 1890 und 1930 bilden den Hintergrund, vor dem nur vereinzelt moralische Forderungen an Technik und Techniker gestellt wurden. Einige dieser Ausnahmen in Schrif- ten von Ingenieuren, Philosophen und Sozialwissenschaftlern, die sich mit Technikphilosophie auseinandersetzten, stelle ich im Rahmen der begriffsge- schichtlichen Perspektive des Themenheftes vor. „Verantwortung“ hatte sich im ersten Drittel des 20. Jahrhunderts noch nicht als jener Begriff etabliert, mit dem moralische Handlungsaufrufe plausibel gemacht wurden. Der Erste Weltkrieg stellt, bei aller Technisierung und Krisenhaftigkeit, im Rahmen der Fragestellung keinen entscheidenden Moment des historischen Wandels dar: Er wurde von der Technikphilosophie nicht zum Anlass genommen, Fragen einer Ethik der Technik und des Ingenieurhandelns vor dem Hintergrund der Erfah- rungen von industrialisiertem Krieg und technischer Rüstung zu diskutieren. Abstract The article asks, how the ethical dimension of technology was understood in the period between the Empire and the end of the Weimar Republic. I explore this question in relation to the well-researched question of the emancipation of the engineering profession as well as the German philosophical debates about technology between 1890 and 1930, mostly argued as a dichotomy between civilization and culture. My thesis is that moral demands placed on technology and the work of engineers were rare. Some exceptions among the writings of engineers, philosophers, and social scientists who addressed the philosophy of technical science are presented in this paper. Unlike today, “responsibility” had not yet established itself as a plausible appeal to ethics. The industrialized, crisis-ridden conflict of World War I did not impell a his- torical change of this understanding of technology: The ethics of technology and engineering activities were not debated in the light of the experiences of industrialized war and technical armament.

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Authors & Contributors
Rider Foley
Xuetao Li
Beverley Gibbs
Jon A. Leydens
Eike-Christian Heine
Elsbeth Bösl
Journals
TG Technikgeschichte
Research in the History of Technology
Engineering Studies
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Science in Context
Quaderns d'Història de l'Enginyeria
Publishers
John Wiley & Sons
Imperial College Press
Concepts
Engineering
Technology and ethics
History of technology, as a discipline
Education, engineering
Design
Ethics
People
Prandtl, Ludwig
Leme, Alberto Betim Paes
Time Periods
20th century, early
21st century
19th century
20th century, late
Places
Germany
United States
Weimar Republic (1919-1933)
Ukraine
Sweden
Russia
Institutions
National School of Bridge Engineering (Ukraine)
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