The aim of this work is to lay a foundation for discussion on the importance of philosophy in professional training sustained in the mainstream definition of engineering provided by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Such definition states that specific engineering knowledge is applied ‘with judgment’ by engineers. The particle ‘with judgment’ officiates as a link between epistemological aspects associated with knowledge, and pragmatic aspects referring to the purposes that such knowledge should have. In this work we will provide a formal definition of ‘judgment’ in order to enlighten the conceptual links between choosing courses of action, rationality and critical thinking in the context of the engineering profession. In doing so we point out the relevance of including philosophical formation in engineering training. It is important that the engineer, by means of the adequate study of humanities, develops the groundwork for critical thinking such that will enable them to identify, select or create a rational system with cultural criteria directed towards the ‘benefit of humanity’, while being able to justify their actions using paradigms that go beyond mere technique. Finally, we present a pedagogical approach called ‘kite model’ that allows us to put these ideas into practice in the classroom.
- Engineering education
- Technological rationality
- Critical thinking
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We understand ‘utilize economically’ as ‘use with economic criteria’ (i.e., allocating efficiently in a context of scarcity).
Daniel McLaughlin (2021) performs a very interesting analysis in this sense starting from the Aristotelian concept of phronesis and seeking its relationship with Koen’s heuristic-based engineering methodology. Our analysis uses a different approach that we believe has points in common with his work. Providentially, both works have been carried out simultaneously, so we hope to be able to analyze their complementarities in greater depth in the future. The authors would like to thank the reviewers for suggesting this source.
Here we are using the meaning of ‘rich’ which indicates interesting because full of diversity or complexity.
A novel proposal which is helpful in the definition of criteria of judgment are the ‘Honest Technologies’ by Miguel Angel Quintanilla (2017), who proposes designs involving coherence between thought and action, linking objectives and consequences in their use and implementation by other agents such as users. Responsibility and honesty could be inspiring principles for a relationship between agents and a good base to find judgment between different rationalities.
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This work was carried out under the economic auspices of the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica de la República Argentina and the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina.
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Giuliano, H.G. et al. (2023). ‘Judgment’ in Engineering Philosophical Discussions and Pedagogical Opportunities. In: Fritzsche, A., Santa-María, A. (eds) Rethinking Technology and Engineering. Philosophy of Engineering and Technology, vol 45. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25233-4_21
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