Toward an Epistemology of Engineering (slides)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Toward an Epistemology of Engineering (slides)

on

  • 5,706 views

Presentation by Antonio Dias de Figueiredo at the Workshop on Philosophy and Engineering, Royal Academy of Engineering, London, November 10-12, 2008. These slides are complemented by the text with the ...

Presentation by Antonio Dias de Figueiredo at the Workshop on Philosophy and Engineering, Royal Academy of Engineering, London, November 10-12, 2008. These slides are complemented by the text with the same title available at SlideShare.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
5,706
Views on SlideShare
5,681
Embed Views
25

Actions

Likes
4
Downloads
306
Comments
4

5 Embeds 25

http://www.slideshare.net 13
http://www.linkedin.com 5
http://www.slashdocs.com 5
http://translate.googleusercontent.com 1
http://www.health.medicbd.com 1

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel

14 of 4 Post a comment

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Toward an Epistemology of Engineering (slides) Toward an Epistemology of Engineering (slides) Presentation Transcript

    • Toward an Epistemology of Engineering NOVEMBER 10-12, 2008 WORKSHOP ON PHILOSOPHY & ENGINEERING ROYAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING, LONDON!
    • What’s Engineering Knowledge? How different is it from traditional Scientific Knowledge? How can we obtain reliable Engineering Knowledge? How can we assess the value of Engineering Knowledge?
    • Answers: EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING
    • EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN ENGINEERING PHILOSOPHY OF !"-*.$,(*+,(" KNOWLEDGE !"#$!%&'(&)(*+(%!$,"-(&(.%"" !"#$%"&'$()*+,(" TOWARD AN EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING
    • Toward an Epistemology of Engineering NOVEMBER 10-12, 2008 WORKSHOP ON PHILOSOPHY & ENGINEERING ROYAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING, LONDON!
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE ! 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN! 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE! 6. CONCLUSIONS!
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE ! 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN! 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE! 6. CONCLUSIONS!
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! •! Engineering as Basic Science •! Engineering as Social & Business Activity •! Engineering as Design •! Engineering as Doing [Figueiredo (2002)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! SOCIAL SCIENCES BASIC!SCIENCES & BUSINESS /0120//3"45" /0120//3"45" 567248"9":;520/55" 572/0?5>" /<=/3>" /0120//3"45" /0120//3"45" @/5210/3""9" @6/3" 20>/134>63" PRACTICAL DESIGN REALIZATION [Figueiredo (2002)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! ENGINEERING AS BASIC SCIENCE Engineers as thinkers Engineering as the application of the Basic Sciences. Practice founded on the values of rigour and logics, devoted to the acquisition of knowledge by analysis and experimentation. The discovery of new knowledge and of first principles is the activity leading to higher intellectual recognition. Research is the preferred “modus operandi”. The Engineering Sciences (Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Theory of Categories, …) as key representatives of this perspective.
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! ENGINEERING AS SOCIAL AND BUSINESS ACTIVITY Engineers as social and business experts Engineering as an integrating part of socio-economic reality. Engineers not just as technologists, but also as social experts, in their ability to recognise the eminently social and economic nature of the world they act upon and the social complexity of the teams they belong to. The creation of social and economic value and the belief in the satisfaction of end users emerge as central values
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! ENGINEERING AS DESIGN Engineers as designers and integrators Systems thinking instead of analytical thinking. Practice founded on holistic, contextual, and integrated representations of the world, rather than on partial visions. Respect for the principles of compromise, alternative, economic and social relevance, material feasibility. Decision often based on incomplete knowledge, intuition, and personal and collective experience, resorting frequently to non-scientific modes of thinking.
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! ENGINEERING AS PRACTICAL REALIZATION Engineers as doers (or makers) Engineering as the art of getting things done. Founded on the ability to change the world, overcoming all sorts of barriers with flexibility and perseverance. The art of the “homo faber”, in its purest expression, the ability to tuck up one’s sleeves and get down to the nitty-gritty. The completed job, that stands before the world, leads to higher recognition
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! SOME KEY WORDS SOCIAL SCIENCES BASIC SCIENCES & BUSINESS •!">A/63B" •!"0/16?4?60" •!"C6@/8" •!">/4C" •!"C/>A6@" •!"E48;/" •!"=;:8274?60" •!"7;5>6C/3" •!"760D/3/07/" •!"C43G/>" •!"=36F/7>" •!"=36@;7>" •!"5B5>/C" •!"5/3E27/" •!"20>/134?60" •!"C45>/3=2/7/" PRACTICAL DESIGN REALIZATION
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! SOCIAL SCIENCES BASIC SCIENCES & BUSINESS PRACTICAL DESIGN REALIZATION [Figueiredo (2002)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! SOCIAL SCIENCES BASIC SCIENCES & BUSINESS PRACTICAL DESIGN REALIZATION [Figueiredo (2002)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! AGGREGATION OF THE FOUR DIMENSIONS AS AN EXERCISE IN TRANSDICIPLINARITY Engineering as the mutual interpenetration of the epistemologies of the four dimensions in the context of disturbances that shake up the corresponding systems of knowledge production. Transdisciplinarity as the continuous linking and re-linking, in specific clusterings and configurations, of knowledge that is brought together on a temporary basis in specific contexts of application, which makes it strongly oriented to, and driven by, problem-solving [Gibbons et al., 1994]. .
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! SOCIAL SCIENCES BASIC SCIENCES & BUSINESS POSITIVIST PERSPECTIVE CONSTRUCTIVIST & INTERPRETIVIST PERSPECTIVE PRACTICAL CONSTRUCTIVIST & DESIGN REALIZATION INTERPRETIVIST PERSPECTIVE Schön, Mintzberg, Ciborra, (Crafting & Bricolage) [Schön (1983), Mintzberg (1987), Ciborra (1998)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE ! 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN! 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE! 6. CONCLUSIONS!
    • 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWELDGE! Ontological question What reality can we known? Epistemological question What is knowledge? What knowledge can we get? Methodological question How can we build that knowledge? Axiological question What is the value of the knowledge we build? [Guba & Lincoln (1994), Lincoln & Guba (2000)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE ! 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN! 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE! 6. CONCLUSIONS!
    • 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN ! EVOLUTION OF THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN Modern Movement of Design Designerly Ways of Knowing Reverse Influence positivist scientization of design backlash against scientization designerly visions for science (1920s) (1970s) (late 1900s, 2000s) [Cross (2001); Figueiredo & Cunha (2006)] "
    • 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN ! SOME DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN PROBLEM FORMULATION REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS •! Good acceptance of ill-defined problems •! Orientation toward the solution, rather than the problem •! Preference to gradually formulate problems as they are solved •! Permanent generation of intermediary tasks and redefinition of requirements and •! Reluctance to formulate problems rigorously constraints until they are solved •! Tolerance of error and chance •! Attraction for exploratory changes of goals and constraints [Cross (2007)] "
    • 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN ! SOME DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION EXPLORATORY PROGRESS •! Conjectural approach to the problems as a function •! The sketch as a metaphor to exploratory of potential solutions. progression •! Simultaneous tackling of problem and •! Importance of ambiguity, reinterpretation and solution analogy •! Generative, rather than deductive reasoning •! Dialectical progression •! Dialogue between seeing that and seeing as [Cross (2007)] "
    • 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN ! PROGRESS IN THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING CAMP •! Design as Functional Analysis •! Design as Problem Solving •! Design as Problem Setting •! Design as Emergent Evolutionary Learning [Gasson (2004)] "
    • 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN ! PROGRESS IN THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING CAMP DESIGN AS FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS DESIGN AS PROBLEM-SOLVING •! Requirements fully available a the outset •! Specially for complex, organizational, problems •! Designer just needs to analyse the problem and deductively proceed to the solution •! Simplifies problems until a rational solution is possible (“bounded rationality”) •! Inspired by the positivist perspective of traditional basic sciences •! Epistemologically close to some popular visions of the social sciences [Gasson (2004)] "
    • 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN ! PROGRESS IN THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING CAMP DESIGN AS PROBLEM SETTING DESIGN AS EMERGENT LEARNING •! Discovery and negotiation of unstated goals, •! Convergence of problem and solution implications, and criteria before a problem can be formulated and, subsequently, solved •! Emergent process of learning while planning short-term partial goals, as the process progresses •! This vision of design takes a phenomenological approach that expresses a •! Design, emerging in circular references, linking constructivist epistemology problem formulation and problem solution, emphasizes a constructivist vision [Gasson (2004)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE ! 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN! 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE! 6. CONCLUSIONS!
    • 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF ENGINEERING Ontological question What reality can engineering know? Epistemological question What is engineering knowledge? Methodological question How can engineering knowledge be built? Axiological question What is the value of engineering knowledge?
    • 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! ONTOLOGICAL QUESTION What reality can engineering know? scientists, doers! designers, social experts! realist principle phenomenological principle We can know the reality that is external We know the world by interacting with it in to us, independent from us, and driven an emergent process that changes by immutable laws knowledge as we keep interacting Engineers construct their knowledge along this whole continuum" As scientists and doers, they value the realist principle, but, as designers and social experts they are able to reconcile it with the phenomenological principle [Figueiredo & Cunha (2006)] "
    • 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! EPISTEMOLOGICAL QUESTION What is engineering knowledge? scientists, doers! designers! deterministic principle teleological principle Knowledge is what we learn by Knowledge is what gets us to an exploring the causes of the problems intended result we face Engineers construct their knowledge along this whole continuum" As scientists and doers, they value the deterministic principle, but, as designers they are able to reconcile it with the teleological principle [Figueiredo & Cunha (2006)] "
    • 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! METHODOLOGICAL QUESTION How can engineering knowledge be built? scientists, doers! designers, social experts! 1. principle of analytical modeling 1. principle of complexity 2. principle of sufficient reason 2. principle of intelligent action To explain reality we must divide each difficulty We build knowledge by seeing the world as complex and into as many parts as possible and necessary embodying stability and change, chaos and order, with to resolve it better the parts interacting in the emergent and largely unpredictable construction of reality There is no effect without a cause and no change without a reason for change Human reason can react to the dissonances to which it is Engineers construct their knowledge confronted by producing “intelligent actions” adapted to reduce these dissonances along this whole continuum" [Figueiredo & Cunha (2006)] "
    • 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! AXIOLOGICAL QUESTION What is the value of engineering knowledge? scientists! designers, doers! principle of intrinsic rigour principle of extrinsic relevance The value of knowledge is determined by its The value of knowledge is determined by demonstrated truth, expressed in generalised its practical results principles Engineers construct their knowledge along this whole continuum" The issues relating to the esthetical dimension have been left out, to simplify" [Figueiredo & Cunha (2006)] "
    • 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! AXIOLOGICAL QUESTION What is the value of engineering knowledge? scientists! some designers, some social scientists! 1. principle of value exclusion 1. principle of value inclusion 2. principle of extrinsic ethics 2. principle of intrinsic ethics values have no role values have an essential role to play in to play in knowledge the emergent process of knowledge construction construction ethical behavior is constructed by each ethical behavior is formally policed by professional in the search for the collective external mechanisms good Engineers construct their knowledge along this whole continuum" [Figueiredo & Cunha (2006)] "
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE ! 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN! 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE! 6. CONCLUSIONS!
    • 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING! How can Engineering knowledge preserve rigour in the cases where it originates from mere gut feelings, takes advantage of chance information, and seizes upon creative leaps that go against traditional scientific rigour? By systematically following Popper’s concept of critical discussion [Popper, 1994]. It resorts to the rigorous application of critical discussion to legitimize the emergent steps of its progress and to recover rigour from the exposures to chance and the abductive leaps and bonds of Engineering [Figueiredo & Cunha, 2007].
    • 1. THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF ENGINEERING! 2. THE FOUR QUESTIONS OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE ! 3. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF DESIGN! 4. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF ENGINEERING! 5. RIGOUR, CREATIVITY & CHANCE IN ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE! 6. CONCLUSIONS!
    • 6. CONCLUSIONS! The Epistemology of Engineering results from the mutual interpenetration of the epistemologies of the constituent dimensions of Engineering. and it keeps changing with the changing contributions of these changing components: science, social and business activities, design, and practical realization.
    • REFERENCES! Ciborra, C. U. (1998). Crisis and foundations: an inquiry into the nature and limits of models and methods in the information systems discipline. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 7(1), 5-16. Cross, N. (2001). Designerly ways of knowing: design discipline versus design science. Design Issues. 17(3). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cross, N. (2007). Designerly Ways of Knowing, Birkauser, Basel. Figueiredo, A. D. (2002). Accreditation and Quality Assessment in a Changing Profession. Proc. International Conference on Engineering Education 2007, ICEE 2002, Manchester. Figueiredo, A. D., and Cunha, P. R. (2006). Action research and design in information systems: two faces of a single coin. In Kock, N. (ed.) Information Systems Action Research: An Applied View of Emerging Concepts and Methods. Springer. Gasson, S. (2004) Organizational ‘problem-solving’ and theories of social cognition (working paper). http://www.cis.drexel.edu/faculty/gasson/Research/Problem-Solving.html. Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P. & Trow, M. (1994). The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. Sage Publications. Guba, E. G. & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In K. D. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (eds.). Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (2000). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, (eds.). Handbook of Qualitative Research, 2nd edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Mintzberg, H. (1987). Crafting strategy. Harvard Business Review. 66-75. Popper, K. (1994). Models, instruments and truth: the status of the rationality principle in the social sciences. In The Myth of the Framework: In Defense of Science and Rationality. London: Routledge, 154-184. Rittel, H., & Webber, M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences. 4, 155-69. Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Basic Books.
    • THE END Toward an Epistemology of NOVEMBER 10-12, 2008 WORKSHOP ON PHILOSOPHY & ENGINEERING ROYAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING, LONDON! Engineering