Faversham Stoa is a philosophy discussion group. We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30 to 9.30pm in the The Bull in Tanners Street. We cover a large range of topics. There's no charge for membership and everyone is welcome to drop in. Just bring your brain and some beer money!

Philosophy of Engineering

Engineering cartoon

We live in a fabricated world. Wherever human beings are found on the planet, technology in some form is used to transform that patch of ground. Thus, the Yorkshire Dales is a human fabrication despite its popularity as an unspoilt area of natural beauty. Perhaps a more informative description of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority would be as landscape engineers. But problems of definition emerge. Is technology the same as engineering? Does industry equate to engineering. And does engineering as an activity only make sense in the production of goods (possibly services?) for trading in markets? Is a factory full of engineers?

It is a commonplace that engineering as a source of both products and employment is in decline in the UK. However, we are surrounded by technology to the extent that the way we live depends on systems that have artefacts of all types at their base.

Does the loss of engineering employment provide an indicator of a maturing economy that has moved on or does the fact that 'Made in the UK' is rarely seen have implications for other aspects of our lives including a sense of ourselves as active agents in the world?

Text of the talk given at the meeting

The text of the talk presented by Maurice Sanders at the Stoa in November 2011:

Background articles


Interesting websites on the topic

Books on philosophy of engineering and technology

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