What is rational about killing a patient with an overdose? Enlightenment, continental philosophy and the role of the human subject in system failure

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Title What is rational about killing a patient with an overdose? Enlightenment, continental philosophy and the role of the human subject in system failure
Author Dekker, Sidney
Journal Name Ergonomics
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Abstract This paper raises the issue of ergonomics' role in giving primacy to fully rational individual human actors in the creation of system failure, despite its commitment to see action as constrained by design and operational features of work. Reflecting on recent contributions to the journal, ergonomics' dilemma is considered against Enlightenment assumptions about individual human reason as the route to truth and goodness and its critics in continental philosophy. There is a pervasive, unstated pact here. What ergonomics chooses to call certain things (violations, errors, non-compliance, situation awareness) not only simultaneously affirms and denies full rationality on part of the people it studies, it also coincides with what the West sees as scientific, true and instrumental. Thus, ergonomics research legitimates its findings in terms it is expected to explain itself in. But by doing so, it reproduces the very social order it set out to repudiate.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2011.592607
Volume 54
Issue Number 8
Page from 679
Page to 683
ISSN 1366-5847
Date Accessioned 2011-11-11
Date Available 2012-02-10T02:16:23Z
Language en_US
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Decision Making
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/42177
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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