Trust in engineering

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Engineers are traditionally regarded as trustworthy professionals who meet exacting standards. In this chapter I begin by explicating our trust relationship towards engineers, arguing that it is a linear but indirect relationship in which engineers “stand behind” the artifacts and technological systems that we rely on directly. The chapter goes on to explain how this relationship has become more complex as engineers have taken on two additional aims: the aim of social engineering to create and steer trust between people, and the aim of creating automated systems that take over human tasks and are meant to invite the trust of those who rely on and interact with them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering
EditorsDiane P. Michelfelder, Neelke Doorn
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Print)9781138244955
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • trust
  • professionalism
  • social engineering
  • Trust in automation


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