What do bridges and software tell us about the philosophy of engineering?

Viola Schiaffonati, Mario Verdicchio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


One of the challenges in the emergent field of philosophy of engineering is to understand its position relative to philosophy of science. The call for a rigorous experimental methodology that has affected several fields in engineering should not make us equate good experimentation with traditional scientific experimentation. We have reason to believe that the primary role of artifacts and the human factor introduced by their designers affect the nature of experiments in engineering research and differentiate them from the traditional scientific method. We carry out our analysis with a specific focus on software engineering, a field in which the level of attention for scientific rigor in experiments has become very high in recent years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy of Engineering, East and West
EditorsCarl Mitcham, Bocong Li, Byron Newberry, Baicung Zhang
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-62450-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-62448-8
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameBoston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)0068-0346


  • Software Engineering
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • philosophy of science
  • experimental method
  • experimental testing


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