Open issues

Might engineering benefit from philosophy and is there anything engineers can contribute in return?

The study of the philosophy of engineering and of technology may be another way to add another perspective to our understanding of engineering since these look at engineering from a different and questioning context. However it can be hard to find an enter point into this topic which we can relate to in the engineering sense. It can be a frustrating examination because there are many different perspectives and therefore philosophy seems to continually raise more questions than it immediately answers. For engineers, its conclusions tend to sound more descriptive and like logic-chopping than objective and quantitative facts.

In times and places where engineers have felt a strong social contract with their society, we see them having an interest in supplementing day-to-day professional activities with debates and assessments about where engineering at it's current stage of development fits into the broader scheme of life and how such an appreciation ought to inform ones actions. That is not to say such questioning can not be a personal interest of engineers at any time, nor the outcome of a wealth of practical experience.

We can test the water by looking at how engineers and philosophers might each approach this issue.

An Engineering-derived Philosophy

Approaching an Engineering Philosophy

A Philosopher's Approach to Technology