The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering

The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering

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Engineering has always been a part of human life but has only recently become the subject matter of systematic philosophical inquiry. The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering presents the state-of-the-art of this field and lays a foundation for shaping future conversations within it. With a broad scholarly scope and 55 chapters contributed by both established experts and fresh voices in the field, the Handbook provides valuable insights into this dynamic and fast-growing field. The volume focuses on central issues and debates, established themes, and new developments in:

Foundational perspectives

Engineering reasoning


Engineering design processes

Engineering activities and methods

Values in engineering

Responsibilities in engineering practice

Reimagining engineering

The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering will be of value for both students and active researchers in philosophy of engineering and in cognate fields (philosophy of technology, philosophy of design). It is also intended for engineers working both inside and outside of academia who would like to gain a more fundamental understanding of their particular professional field.

The increasing development of new technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, and new interdisciplinary fields, such as human-computer interaction, calls not only for philosophical inquiry but also for engineers and philosophers to work in collaboration with one another. At the same time, the demands on engineers to respond to the challenges of world health, climate change, poverty, and other so-called "wicked problems" have also been on the rise. These factors, together with the fact that a host of questions concerning the processes by which technologies are developed have arisen, make the current Handbook a timely and valuable publication.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 768 pages
  • 178 x 254 x 260mm | 1,624g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 44 Line drawings, black and white; 3 Halftones, black and white; 8 Tables, black and white; 47 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138244953
  • 9781138244955

Table of contents

Diane P. Michelfelder and Neelke Doorn

Part I: Foundational Perspectives

What Is Engineering?
Carl Mitcham

A Brief History of Engineering
Jennifer Karns Alexander

Western Philosophical Approaches and Engineering
Glen Miller

Eastern Philosophical Approaches and Engineering
Glen Miller, Xiaowei (Tom) Wang, Satya Sundar Sethy, Fujiki Atsushi

What Is Engineering Science?
Sven Ove Hansson

Scientific Methodology in the Engineering Sciences
Mieke Boon

Part II: Engineering Reasoning

Engineering Design and the Quest for Optimality
Maarten Franssen

Prescriptive Engineering Knowledge
Sjoerd Zwart

Engineering as Art and the Art of Engineering
Lara Schrijver

Creativity and Discovery in Engineering
David H. Cropley

William M. Bulleit

Christian Dieckhoff and Armin Grunwald

Systems Engineering as Engineering Philosophy
Usman Akeel and Sarah Bell

Assessing Provenance and Bias in Big Data
Brent Mittelstadt and Jan Kwakkel

Part III: Ontology

Beth Preston

Engineering Objects
Wybo Houkes

Use Plans
Auke Pols

Function in Engineering
Boris Eisenbart and Kilian Gericke

Emergence in Engineering
Peter Simons

Towards an Ontology of Innovation: On the New, the Political-Economic Dimension and the Intrinsic Risks Involved in Innovation Processes
Vincent Blok

Part IV: Engineering Design Processes

Engineering Design
Peter Kroes

Values and Design
Ibo Van de Poel

Design Methods and Validation
Sabine Ammon

Human-Centred Design and its Inherent Ethical Qualities
Marc Steen

Sustainable Design
Steven A. Moore

Mark Thomas Young

Part V: Engineering Activities and Methods

Lara Huber

Models in Engineering and Design: Modeling Relations and Directions of Fit
Michael Poznic

Scale Modeling
Susan G. Sterrett

Computer Simulations
Hildrun Lampe

Viola Schiaffonati

On Verification and Validation in Engineering
Francien Dechesne and Tijn Borghuis

Part VI: Values in Engineering

Values in Risk and Safety Assessment
Niklas Moeller

Engineering and Sustainability: Control and Care in Unfoldings of Modernity
Andy Stirling

The Role of Resilience in Engineering
Neelke Doorn

Trust in Engineering
Philip J. Nickel

Stefan Koller

Marianne Boenink

Philosophy of Security Engineering
Wolter Pieters

Part VII: Responsibilities in Engineering Practice

Ethical Considerations in Engineering
Wade L. Robison

Autonomy in Engineering
Eugene Schlossberger

Standards in Engineering
Paul B. Thompson

Professional Codes of Ethics
Michael Davis

Responsibilities to the Public-Professional Engineering Societies
Joseph Herkert and Jason Borenstein

Engineering as a Political Practice
Govert Valkenburg

Global Engineering Ethics
Pak-Hang Wong

Engineering Practice and Engineering Policy: The Narrative Form of Engineering Policy Advice
Natasha McCarthy

Part VIII: Reimagining Engineering

Feminist Engineering and Gender
Donna Riley

Socially Responsible Engineering
Jessica M. Smith and Juan C. Lucena

Engineering and Social Justice
Carolyn Baillie

Engineering and Environmental Justice
Benjamin R. Cohen

Beyond Traditional Engineering: Green, Humanitarian, Social Justice, and Omnium Approaches
George D. Catalano

Engineering and Contemporary Continental Philosophy of Technology
Diane P. Michelfelder

Engineering Practice from the Perspective of Methodical Constructivism and Culturalism
Michael Funk and Albrecht Fritzsche

Reimagining the Future of Engineering
Neelke Doorn, Diane P. Michelfelder, Elise Barrella, Terry Bristol, Francien Dechesne, Albrecht Fritzsche, Gearold Johnson, Michael Poznic, Wade L. Robison, Barbara Sain, Taylor Stone, Tonatiuh Rodriguez-Nikl, Steven Umbrello, Pieter E. Vermaas, Richard L. Wilson
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Review quote

"This is an amazing collection! Not only is it the first book of its kind, defining the territory of the new and rapidly developing field of philosophy of engineering, it contains chapters by a truly international and multidisciplinary group of scholars. The compilation is rich and exciting, and very timely."
Deborah G. Johnson, Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics Emeritus, University of Virginia

"Neelke Doorn and Diane Michelfelder have curated an impressive body of works that turn the clarifying and critical lens of philosophy upon engineering. This volume begins to reveal the depths of an essential human enterprise, one that philosophers for too long treated as a superficial craft rather than what it is: a creative endeavor of social imagination in action."
Shannon Vallor, Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence, University of Edinburgh

"Traditional philosophy of technology largely ignores engineers and engineering, but The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering takes engineers, their methods, their responsibilities, and their future seriously with a world-class collection of spot-on papers sure to stimulate your reflection. Beg, borrow, or steal this volume and start treating the humans and human activity of engineering in a philosophically serious way, today."
David E. Goldberg, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois
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About Diane P. Michelfelder

Diane P. Michelfelder is Professor of Philosophy at Macalester College, USA. Along with philosopher Natasha McCarthy and engineer David E. Goldberg, she edited Philosophy and Engineering: Reflections on Practice, Principles, and Process (2013). Her most recent book is Philosophy and Engineering: Exploring Boundaries, Expanding Connections, edited with Byron Newberry and Qin Zhu (2016).

Neelke Doorn is Distinguished Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor of "Ethics of Water Engineering" at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Recent book publications include co-editing the volumes Responsible Innovation: Innovative Solutions for Global Issues (2014) and Early Engagement and New Technologies: Opening up the Laboratory (2013). She is also the author of Water Ethics: An Introduction (2020).
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