The Entrepreneurial Engineer

Monday, June 05, 2006

Philosophy of engineering

Blogging is great. I posted my stray comments about the philosophy of engineering (see here and here), and Andrew Fox of Covington University in the UK posted the following comment:
Some of us were thinking the same thing and started a discussion forum. Results are on our website: http://www.philosophyofengineering.com/. Have a look.

Indeed I did, and you should, too. There seems to be a bit of a nascent movement in these directions and it couldn't come at a better time. To this point, the UK effort has held several seminars, and several more are planned this year with details to come out shortly.

Moreover, this blogging rendezvous has resulted in the creation of a new blog by the name of Philosophy of Engineering by Andrew Fox, and I've linked to it permanently for TEE readers.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

More philosophy of engineering

Gave a quick read of Billy Vaughn Koen's Discussion of the Method: Conducting the Engineer's Approach to Problem Solving. Koen takes a philosophical look at engineering's place in the world and does a nice job of making some important distinctions regarding engineering method; however, the text's ulimate conclusion is that everything is heuristic, and this move amounts to the same kind of surrender of realism contained in much 20th and 21st century philsophy. It hardly corresponds to most engineers' understanding of the world and is thus ultimately unsatisfying. Nonetheless, Koen is one of a very few writers to take engineering serious in a philosophical way.