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Personal profile

Quote

“Technology is not the collection of the latest gadgets. It consists of actions by which humans have, for ages, changed their lives and the world around them.”

Research profile

Wybo Houkes (1971) is associate professor in the philosophy of science and technology and chair of the Philosophy & Ethics group at TU/e. His research interests include: philosophy of technical artifacts, theories of cultural evolution, the philosophy of scientific modeling, and analyses of technological knowledge. His prior research, in the “Dual Nature of Technical Artefacts” program at Delft, resulted in the ICE-theory of technical functions, and analyses of use and design rooted in the philosophy of mind and action. In later projects, he studied what might distinguish science and engineering; and to what extent technological may be regarded as an evolutionary process – in disciplines as diverse as archaeology, organization studies, and electrical engineering. One of his main current interests is in the conceptual foundations of cultural-evolutionary theory. At TU/e, his courses look at the evolutionary foundations for innovation sciences; quantitative risk analysis; and philosophical issues arising in engineering, the social sciences, and modelling practices.

Academic background

Wybo Houkes received his PhD in philosophy at Leiden University (2000), after studying theoretical physics in Amsterdam and philosophy in Leiden. He was one of the principal researchers in the NWO research program ‘The Dual Nature of Technical Artefacts’ (Delft, 2000-2004) and joined Eindhoven's philosophy group in 2001. He became associate professor in 2009, and was appointed as chair of the Philosophy & Ethics group in 2015.

At TU/e, he was associate editor of ‘The ontology and epistemology of artefacts’ in the Handbook of Philosophy of Science: Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences (Elsevier, 2009). In 2008, he became a VIDI laureate for the program ‘Darwinism in the Human-Made World’, in which he was principal investigator until 2013. In the academic year 2015-2016, he was a fellow in the research group ‘The Ethics of Copying’ at the ZiF in Bielefeld.

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Research Output 2001 2019

3 Citations (Scopus)

Pluralism on artefact categories : a philosophical defense

Houkes, W. N. & Vermaas, P. E., 2013, In : Review of Philosophy and Psychology. 4, 3, p. 543-557 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Cultural Diversity
Artifacts
Cognitive Science
Cluster Analysis
Artifact
9 Citations (Scopus)

Robust! : handle with care

Houkes, W. N. & Vaesen, K., 2012, In : Philosophy of Science. 79, 3, p. 345-364 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Robustness
Confluence
Scientific Models

Technical functions : on the use and design of artefacts

Houkes, W. N. & Vermaas, P. E., 2010, Berlin: Springer. 175 p. (Philosophy of engineering and technology; vol. 1)

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

The nature of technological knowledge

Houkes, W. N., 2009, Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences. Meijers, A. W. M. (ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier, p. 309-350 41 p. (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science; vol. 9)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

Technological knowledge
56 Citations (Scopus)

Design and use as plans: an action-theoretical account

Houkes, W. N., Vermaas, P. E., Dorst, C. H. & Vries, de, M. J., 2002, In : Design Studies. 23, 3, p. 303-320

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

artifact
methodology
Quality function deployment
philosophy
Artifact

Prizes

Darwinism in the Man-Made World

Wybo Houkes (Recipient), 2008

Recognition: NWOVidiScientific

Activities 2009 2019

Review of Philosophy and Psychology (Journal)

Wybo N. Houkes (Peer reviewer)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-reviewScientific

Design Science (Journal)

Wybo Houkes (Peer reviewer)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-reviewScientific

Functions and the Aesthetics of Technical Artefacts

Wybo Houkes (Speaker)
19 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (External organisation)

Wybo Houkes (Advisor)
19 Jun 2018

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committeeScientific

SPT 2017 (Event)

Wybo Houkes (Member)
2017

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committeeScientific

Courses

Analysis and control of risk

1/09/13 → …

Course

Research Methods

1/09/15 → …

Course

Student theses

Approaches to modelling technological change in energy models: a learning experience

Author: Wesselman, P., 29 May 2019

Supervisor: Houkes, W. (Supervisor 1) & Verbong, G. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

File

Digitization in creative professional service firms: new business models of architects

Author: Verstegen, G., 28 Feb 2014

Supervisor: Reymen, I. (Supervisor 1) & Houkes, W. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

File

How system architecture shapes performance curves: a simulation study of systemic innovation inertia

Author: Zijlstra, F., Jun 2017

Supervisor: Houkes, W. (Supervisor 1), Alkemade, F. (Supervisor 2) & Vaesen, K. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

File