Relevance Of Philosophy On 21st Century Manufacturing Computer Science Essay

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The objective of this project was to research the "Relevance of Philosophy on 21st Century Manufacturing" and prepare a report (aprox. 6 Pages) outlining the findings and prepare a presentation which will be delivered in class at a later date.


Research was carried out into the "Relevance of Philosophy on 21st Century Manufacturing" using the internet as the main tool of choice. Various documents that were appropriate to the "Relevance of Philosophy on 21st Century Manufacturing" were selected and studied.

Because the "Relevance of Philosophy on 21st Century Manufacturing" is such a wide and varied area this document only contains an overview of the information that was gathered as a result of 6 weeks of research into the area and is by no means exhaustive.


Table of Contents

1.0 Abstract 2

1.1 Objective 2

1.2 Method 2

1.3 Results 2

2.0 Table of Contents 3

3.0 List of Figures 4

4.0 Introduction 5

5.0 What is Philosophy? 6

6.0 Branches of Philosophy 6

6.1 Metaphysics - "the study of being and knowing" 6

6.2 Ethics - "the study of value" 6

6.3 Political philosophy - "the study of citizen and state" 6

6.4 The philosophy of science 7

6.5 Logic - "the philosophy of inference and argument" 7

7.0 Philosophy and Engineering 9

7.1 The Importance of Philosophy to Engineering 9

7.1.1 Self Defence 9

7.1.2 Self Interest & Ethics 10

7.1.3 Self-Understanding 10

7.2 Knowledge and Engineering 11

7.3 Philosophy and Manufacturing 12

8.0 Bits and Bobs 14

Introduction?? 14

Summary and Conclusions 15

8.1 Summary 15

8.2 Conclusion 15

9.0 References 16

List of Figures


What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a study of problems which are ultimate, abstract and very general. These problems are concerned with the nature of existance, knowledge, morality, reason and human purpose.

Branches of Philosophy

Academic philosophy divides the subject as a whole into different branches. The major traditional branches are metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of science and logic. Each of these different branches is discussed below.

Metaphysics - "the study of being and knowing"

The word 'metaphysics' is the name that an early philosopher, Andronicus gave to some treatises written by Aristotle. Aristotle himself had called these treasises 'first philosophy'. By 'first' he meant fundamental, basic, or most important. The topics of this first philosophy' are the nature of being, the nature of causation (or coming to be) and the nature of knowledge.

The title Metaphysics was attached to 'first philosophy' more or less by accident. When Andronicus edited Aristotle's works he put the treatises on 'first philosophy' and a treatise called physics together into the same book, placing the Physics at the beginning. Now, the Greek word Meta means 'after', and Andronicus called the second part of the book Metaphysics, meaning 'the bit which comes after the Physics'.

'First philosophy', or metaphysics, can be defined as made up of ontology, which is the study of the nature of existence and of coming to be, together with epistemology, which is the theory of knowledge. But it also asks questions about the mind and the soul and God and time and space and free will. This is because an enquiry into the general nature of being and knowing inevitably leads on to many other related questions. For instance, asking 'What is existence?' leads to asking 'What is substance? What is matter? What is space? What can be said about non-existence?' Asking 'What is a cause?' leads to asking 'Did the world have a beginning in time? Did it have a cause? What is time? Is there a God?' Asking 'What is knowledge?' leads to questions like 'Is' knowledge possible? Is it a type of belief? Is it a mental state? Is there unconscious knowledge?'

Ethics - "the study of value"

The word 'ethics' comes from a Greek word meaning manners, but ever since the seventeenth century it has meant, in English, the study or science of morals, or, more widely, the science of human duties of all kinds including moral, legal and political duties.

In modern times 'ethics' has two different meanings. First, it can mean the study of theories about the intellectual origins and justification of moral coedes and of morality in general. Second, it can mean the particular codes of conduct adopted by individuals or professions. The word is used in the second sense when people speak about the work ethic, medical ethics, business ethics, and so on. We shall be chiefly concerned with ethics in the first sense.

Ethics, which is also called moral philosophy, discusses, among other topics, its own status as an objective enquiry. It is also importantly concerned with motivation, especially with altruism and selfishness. Ethics asks questions about moral principle, and about happiness, justice, courage, and in a general way about any human states and traits which are regarded as valuable and desirable or valueless and undesirable.

Political philosophy - "the study of citizen and state"

Political philosophy has to do with questions about government, the citizen and the state. But it is not much concerned with the details; the nuts and bolts, of particular governments or modes of governing.

Rather it tries to answer more general questions, including the following: Why should one obey the government of the state one lives, is there any reason for obedience apart from fear? Do we need states, or would we be better off without them? What is liberty? How much liberty can citizens have, and how much ought they to have? What is equality, and is it desirable?

During the first half of this century professional philosophers seemed to lose interest in questions about the state and the citizen. So it is perhaps worth noting that until then the subject had always been an important part of philosophy. Ever since Plato's day nearly aII those who have a claim to be remembered as significant philosophical thinkers have written about political questions. Plato himself wrote two long political works, The Republic and the laws, Aristotle wrote a book called Politics, Augustine wrote The City of God, Thomas Aquinas discussed the rights and duties of Rulers and their subjects, Thomas Hobbes' most importat work is about the state (which he called the Leviathan), John Locke's large output includes his immensely influential Treatises on Civil Government. David Hume wrote on history and politics, and from more recent times we can mention Hegel, Bentham, John Stuart Mill and of course Karl Marx. After an interregnum of three or four decades political topics returned to the philosophical agenda with two big works from America , John Rawls' A Theory oj Justice (1979) and Robert Nozicks Anarchy State, and Utopia (1974).

The philosophy of science

The idea that there are philosophical problems which are peculiar to the systematic sciences is fairly recent. Until the nineteenth century what is now called philosophy of science formed part of the general theory of knowledge. Some nineteenth-century authors, including, for example, John Stuart Mill, treated it as a branch of logic - 'inductive logic'.

Nowadays philosophy of science is regarded as a distinct branch of philosophical endeavour and is taught as such in many universities, sometimes to science students, sometimes to philosophy students and sometimes to both. It is often studied alongside the history of science. A significant number of those who teach the philosophy of science began their academic lives as science students and then turned to philosophy later on.

Philosophical problems associated with science include ontological questions, that is, questions about the reality of theoretical entities such as gravity, magnetic force, electrons and anti-matter. It also examines the relationships between the various special sciences and theorizes about the possibility of reducing all the sciences to one master study, usually taken to be physics. Philosophy of science concerns itself too with methodological questions connected with inductive reasoning, reasoning from effects to causes and vice versa, and scientific reasoning generally.

Logic - "the philosophy of inference and argument"

The word 'logic' comes from the Greek logos, which means 'thought' or 'reason' or 'word', and it is possibly because of this that logic has sometimes been defined as the study of the laws of thought.

But Aristotle, who may be said to have invented the subject, described logic as the study of proof.

Now, not all reasoning aims to prove things strictly. Much reasoning aims merely to show that something is probable or possible. The reliability or otherwise of reasoning that is intended to support probabilities is not part of formal logic, which studies only strict proof, sometimes called deductive proof. Since strict proofs are found in mathematics many people, whether they realise it or not, are in a sense quite familiar with examples of such proofs, because many people have studied some mathematics.

Logic can best be defined as: the study of that aspect of strict or deductive proof which is concerned with its soundness (or unsoundness). Some philosophers have held that logic ought to study truth as well as soundness. But truth is a much wider topic than soundness. It is possible to devise general rules for testing soundness, but there are no general rules for finding out what is true because different kinds of enquiry have different ways of finding out what is true. For instance, the various different sciences have different techniques of observation and experimentation.

So it is possible, and useful, to study soundness and unsoundness without considering questions of truth and falsity. How exactly does logic study this matter? Basically, it sets out general rules for testing soundness.

Philosophy and Engineering

The philosophy of engineering is an emerging discipline that considers what engineering is, what engineers do and how their work impacts on society. The philosophy of engineering includes aspects of ethics and aesthetics, as well as the ontology and epistemology. These are areas that might more commonly be studied in the philosophy of science.

Engineering is the profession that is taught of in society when we think of modifying the natural environment, through the design and manufacture of artefacts. People may then contrast it with science, in which the aim is to understand nature. The philosophy of engineering is classified as the consideration of philosophical issues as they apply to engineering. These issues may include the objectivity of experiments, the ethics of engineering activity in the workplace and in society or the aesthetics of engineered artefacts.

The Importance of Philosophy to Engineering

According to Carl Mitcham (1998), philosophy has not paid sufficient attention to engineering in the past. However, this doesn't mean that engineering should this as an excuse to ignore philosophy.

It can be argued that philosophy is important to engineering for at least three reasons. Firstly, philosophy is necessary so that engineers may understand and defend themselves against philosophical criticisms. Secondly, philosophy, especially ethics, is necessary to help engineers deal with professional ethical problems and thirdly, because of the inherently philosophical character of engineering, philosophy may actually function as a means to greater engineering self-understanding.

It can also be argued, that engineering is also important to philosophy. It can be claimed that philosophers have made insufficient efforts to appreciate and assess the technical realities that they often too easily criticize.

Self Defence

The problem in society is that engineering and philosophy are typically conceived as two completely separate areas. In the minds of most people, engineering and philosophy do not have much to do with each other. Engineering is divided into a number of different branches: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, computer engineering, etc. Philosophy also includes a number of different branches: logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, etc. It is suggested that representatives of some of the areas of the philosophy world, especially ethics and aesthetics, seem to have initiated a war against selected areas of the engineering world. Members of the philosophical community have been accusing engineers of building nuclear weapons that could destroy civilization as we know it, manufacturing transportation systems that are a blight on urban culture, designing communication technologies that can enhance central or authoritarian controls by both governments and private corporations, creating computers that depersonalize human life. Engineers, according to the critics have been polluting the natural world with toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases while flooding the human world with ugly structures and useless consumer products.

Martin Heidegger, one of the most prominent philosophers of the 20th century, has argued that all the ethical and aesthetic failures of engineering are grounded in a attitude toward the world which reduces nature to resources, in a dominating gestell or enframing. Gestell is a concept was applied to Heidegger's exposition of the essence of technology. "Gestell, literally 'framing', is an all-encompassing view of technology, not as a means to an end, but rather a mode of human existence." The point that Heidegger was attempting to convey with Gestell was that everything that has come into presence in the world has been enframed. According to the classic and still standard definition that engineers give of their profession, engineering is "the application of scientific principles to the optimal conversion of natural resources into structures, machines, products, systems, and processes for the benefit of humankind." The philosophical definition may read more like the following: "Engineering is the scientific art by which a particular group of human beings destroys nature and pollutes the world in ways that are useless or harmful to human life." It is because of philosophical comments or attacks like this that engineers need to be able to understand and defend themselves and it is for this reason that philosophy is crucial to engineers.

It is from this need to defend themselves that a whole school of "engineer philosophers" was born, but it is a school that is completely unrecognized both within the engineering institutes and colleges and the liberal arts institutes and colleges in which most philosophy is taught.

First is Ernst Kapp (1808-1896), he was a contemporary of Karl Marx. Although originally educated as a philosopher, Kapp emigrated from Germany to central Texas, where he became a pioneer and developed a view of technology as a complex extension or projection of human faculties and activities. In a subsequent articulation of this philosophical anthropology of technology, he became the person to coin the phrase "philosophy of technology" or "philosophy of engineering."

Next is Peter Engelmeier (1855-1941), one of the founders of Russian professional engineering. A hundred years ago Engelmeier, under the banner of the phrase "philosophy of technology," argued for a more than technical education of the engineering profession. If engineers are to take their rightful place in world affairs, he argued, they must be educated not only in their technical fields but also in knowledge about the social impact and influence of technology.

A third is Friedrich Dessauer, certainly a pivotal contributor to this tradition of engineering philosophy of technology. The inventor of deep-penetration x-ray therapy, a political opponent of Nazism, and a technical professional in dialogue with such philosophers as Karl Jaspers, José Ortega y Gasset, and Heidegger, among others, Dessauer put forth an interpretation of engineering invention as an experience that transcends the boundaries of Kantian phenomenal appearances and makes contact with noumenal things-in-themselves.

In the first instance, then, philosophy is important to engineering, because there are many who philosophically criticize engineering. Out of self defense, if for no other reason, engineers should know something about philosophy in order to handle their critics. Moreover, some engineers have in fact taken up this challenge.

Self Interest & Ethics

Philosophy is also important to engineers because at some stage in their career engineers will face ethical issues or problems internally or professionally that they will have to admit, cannot be resolved simply with engineering methods alone. There are times in the engineering world when engineers ask themselves questions about what they should be doing or how they should do it that cannot be solved by technical expertise alone. Philosophy (especially ethics) is an internal practical need of engineering and is recognized by the professional engineering community. Engineering ethics is distinguishes engineering design from artistic design. It is the requirement for the engineer to make predictions of the behaviour and effect of the artefact prior to its manufacture. These predictions may or may not be accurate but should include the effects on both individuals and the society. So it can be concluded that what engineers do is always subject to a moral or ethical evaluation.


There are numerous views about what distinguishes science and engineering. Two distinctions are that science aims to build theories that are true, while engineering aims to make things that work and science aims to understand the world, whereas engineering aims to change it.

This distinction might indicate why the philosophy of engineering has yet to take shape wile the philosophy of science has been in existence for hundreds of years. A key aspect of philosophy is the pursuit of a question - do we have genuine knowledge about the world around us? Philosophers ask how we acquire such knowledge and whether we can ever be fully confident that our knowledge is genuine. Science's aim of finding truth and understanding is of interest to the philosopher because, by pursuing these ends, science aims at knowledge. So philosophers turn a critical eye toward science, to assess whether it really achieves knowledge, by what means, and whether we can ever be sure that the most successful scientific theories represent genuine knowledge about the world.

However in recent years philosophy is slowly becoming much more open to engineering thoughts and practices. This is because as engineers increasingly construct the world philosophers increasingly recognize the world as being constructed. As human beings have moved from a natural to a carpentered and then to an engineered world, surely it is no accident that natures and essences have been called into question.

It can then be stated that engineers are the unacknowledged philosophers of the postmodern world. Why is philosophy important to engineering? Ultimately and most deeply it is because engineering is philosophy - and through philosophy engineering will become more itself.

Knowledge and Engineering

Some people may argue that engineering looks more at the practical end of things and doesn't give much taught to philosophical ideas. However this is completely untrue. For a start, engineering is central to theoretical science's search for knowledge. The most fundamental physical theories are supported by experimental data which would not be attainable without engineering. For example the particle accelerators built to reveal the fundamental building blocks of nature and the Gravity Probe B to test our understanding of the structure of time and space and the nature of gravity would not be possible without impressive feats of engineering.

There is a useful distinction in philosophy between 'knowing that' and 'knowing how'. I know that Dublin is the capital of Ireland, and I know how to cycle a bike. This is an important distinction that is obscured by the single word 'knowledge', and when we take it into consideration it is clear that engineers seek to acquire knowledge in all of their endeavours. Engineering is 'know-how': engineers know how to build a bridge that will carry traffic, and engineers know how to build a particle accelerator to carry out experiments. This latter kind of know-how represents knowledge relating to some of the most fundamental features of nature. Engineering as a consequence yields highly successful knowledge about how to control materials and processes to bring about desired results. It is a way of getting to the nature of things - a voyage of discovery as much as science is. Hence engineering provides a useful case study for philosophers inquiring about the status of human knowledge.

It seems, furthermore, that the lessons philosophers will learn from engineering knowledge will be quite revealing. In their endeavour to assess whether science is successful in yielding knowledge, many philosophers of science seek to examine the idea of scientific progress. The history of science sometimes leads philosophers to make gloomy conclusions about our progress toward ever-improving

knowledge of the world. For centuries Newtonian theory reigned supreme as our best account of the structure of the universe. However, relativity theory has superseded it, offering quite a different view of the large-scale universe. Before the revolution in chemistry, explanations of the processes involved in combustion were in terms of a substance called 'phlogiston' - a substance present in flammable materials and released on burning. We now know that no such thing exists, and we explain combustion in quite different ways. That scientific theories undergo such upheaval leads philosophers to worry that any theory, however good the predictions it makes, might one day be overturned. They worry that the entities we currently believe in and use in scientific explanations will turn out to be as fictional as phlogiston. This is the basis of the argument known as the 'pessimistic induction', which runs thus: The

history of science is a history of theories being refuted and rejected. If we are to learn anything from history, it is that our current theories are very likely to be rejected in the future. Hence, we have no

reason to be confident that our scientific theories represent genuine, secure knowledge. Historical evidence supports a far more tentative attitude.

However, if, when thinking about progress, the philosopher focuses not just on a few cases in theoretical science, but instead turns his attention to applied science and engineering, he might reach quite different

conclusions about the progress of knowledge. For, although there are revolutions in engineering, the products of engineering knowledge are not going to be overturned in the way that some scientific theories have been. Phlogiston theory was plain wrong, and explanations in terms of phlogiston have never worked. But technologies that become obsolete do so because they are improved upon, or

become redundant, and not because they have never really worked in the first place. So, while the philosopher might argue that any scientific theory might come to be rejected, he cannot claim that we might one day wake up to find that the bridges that have been constructed according to older engineering methods have all collapsed, or that all methods of transport have ground to a halt because the underpinning knowledge was defective. This shows that knowledge of what works, the 'know-how'

that engineering provides, is secure knowledge. Engineering knowledge is also genuinely cumulative - improved all the time by building on, and not re-writing,what went before. Hence, if philosophers look at

engineering practice as well as scientific theory when they consider progress, they may not be led into scepticism. In this way, a philosophy of engineering might prove enlightening to the pessimistic philosopher!

Philosophy and Manufacturing

Despite engineering's success in securing knowledge, there is still the fact that most engineering practice aims at bringing about practical results, rather than seeking knowledge for its own sake. Is there room for philosophy within this aspect of engineering? Peter Simons is a philosopher who studies ontology. This is generally characterised as the study of 'what there is', the study of the nature of being and of the basic kinds of things that exist. Within philosophy, ontology is often treated in a very abstract way, but Simons has found application for it in the practical, 'greasy-hands' side of engineering. Simons' interest in applying ontology to engineering is because of the complexity displayed by engineered artefacts (the term 'artefact' here refers to any object made or adapted by humans, with an intended function). His particular interest is in an area of ontology called 'mereology'. This is the study of the relationships between parts and wholes - between sets and their members, and objects and their parts. A seminal paper co-authored by Simons and Charles Dement looks at how engineering categorises the parts of an object - what counts as a proper, complete part of a complex artefact, say an engine.

Philosophy of engineering is a subject that is just beginning to emerge. There are a growing number of texts in engineering ethics, and works are beginning to appear that specifically focus on the philosophy of engineering. Philosophers like Ian Hacking also appreciate the contribution that considerations of engineering can make to the philosophy of science © Hakan Altinisik

Engineers construct a Bill of Materials for any complex artefact, which is a representation of its parts and their arrangement. Engineers need to break down any product into its parts in order to design, construct and maintain it. What is problematic is that any complex product potentially has more than one

Bill of Materials. This is because, for example, what counts as a single part in manufacture might be used to another part in such a way that it no longer counts as a single part when it comes to taking the object apart, either in the process of maintenance or at the end of that object's life cycle. This situation is bound to give rise to problems of communication and management across the many changes in the life cycle of complex objects. Simons argues that the inherent complexity of engineering artefacts leads to complexity in the IT systems that are used in the manufacturing processes, and complexities in the organisation of the human players - designers, manufacturers, customers and so on - involved in the whole manufacturing enterprise. Simons' view is that we can deal with the problems posed by complexity in engineering from an ontological viewpoint. The idea would be to use methods of ontology to provide a universal, formal framework for analysing complex artefacts and the processes which govern their design, manufacture, operation and so on. This universal framework would have the advantage of allowing easier communication between those involved in different stages of a product's life cycle. It would also mean that we could devise solutions to engineering problems that do not just fit

the problem they were intended for, but which could be transferred to other situations.

Simons' ontological approach to engineering has had some practical success. Simons and Dement collaborated with companies such as Shell, Rolls- Royce and Lockheed Martin to discuss how engineering could use philosophical ideas. They had notable success in the application of what they called 'enterprise engineering' with the Maintenance Tooling division at Rolls-Royce. Simons and Dement did not offer particular solutions for managing the manufacturing process, but encouraged the

division to 'rethink' their operations, looking at them from a different perspective, inspired by ontological methods. This approach has subsequently been used to successfully develop engineering improvement projects with Design and Make suppliers. Simons' work is interesting in that it demonstrates how even an apparently abstract area of philosophy can have palpable practical value. Simons' and Dement's method involved encouraging engineers to think about their procedures from a foundational, philosophical perspective, rather than offering tailor-made solutions. Igor Aleksander FREng, Professor of Neural Systems Engineering at Imperial College London, believes that is the most fitting way to apply philosophy to engineering. He says "Philosophers would be delighted to have uncovered a debate of what is and what is not good engineering without judging the issue. It is a mistake to think that philosophers will optimise procedures. Engineers will do that when they have learned to be philosophically sound."

Bits and Bobs

There are numerous views about what distinguishes science and engineering. One characterisation of the distinction is that science aims to build theories that are true, while engineering aims to make things that work. The disciplines have different aims - models or theories for science, artefacts or processes for engineers. The reasons for pursuing these results also differ. Science aims to understand the world, whereas engineering aims to change it. This distinction might indicate why the philosophy of engineering has yet to take shape. A key aspect of philosophy is the pursuit of a question - do we have genuine knowledge about the world around us? Philosophers ask how we acquire such knowledge and whether we can ever be fully confident that our knowledge is genuine. Science's aim of finding truth and understanding is of interest to the philosopher because, by pursuing these ends, science aims at knowledge. So philosophers turn a critical eye toward science, to assess whether it really achieves knowledge, by what means, and whether we can ever be sure that the most successful scientific theories represent genuine knowledge about the world.

Given that many scientific theories that seek knowledge about the world involve engineering in that endeavour, engineering should surely be of interest to philosophers. There are pertinent questions to be asked about how the physical products of engineering can help us to access knowledge about the world: what exactly is the role of manufactured objects in finding knowledge, and how reliable are they? These are questions that are dealt with by the eminent philosopher Ian Hacking (1936 - Present), but few others. However, engineering can be seen as delivering knowledge by a much more direct route than by aiding science.



There does seem to be room for a philosophy of engineering. Engineering is a significant part of our quest for knowledge, and as such it is of interest to philosophy. A speculative, philosophical treatment of

engineering can have practical applications that could deliver great benefits to engineering in the industrial setting, and so a philosophy of engineering should likewise be of interest to engineers.

The Royal Academy of Engineering has embarked on a project within the philosophy of engineering. The aim of this project is to gain greater understanding of the nature of the engineering profession and discipline. It is hoped that this will have many benefits, including that of clarifying in engineers' minds what is distinctive about the profession, what its aims and goals are, its intellectual foundations andwhat it contributes to society and to collective knowledge. It is hoped that this will have the result of enabling communication between engineers, other disciplines and the public, thus engendering a greater appreciation of its contribution, and resulting in a greater attraction to the subject.

Summary and Conclusions



Studies in the humanities and social sciences serve not only to meet the objectives of a broad education but also to met the objectives of the engineering profession. . . . In the interests of making engineers fully aware of their social responsibilities and better able to consider related factors in the decision-making process, institutions must require course work in the humanities and social sciences as an integral part of the engineering program. This philosophy cannot be overemphasized (IV.C.3.d.[2][a]).

In other words, once the goal of engineering design has been reduced from being humanly useful and beneficial to a context-dependent process, then the humanities and social sciences are presented as a means to understand and evaluate such contexts. Otherwise engineers would just be hired guns - and could serve the profession equally well as designers of concentration camps or of green (non-polluting) chemical plants.

ABET is currently in the process of revising and simplifying its criteria for accreditation. Its new criteria set, laid out in a document called "Engineering Criteria 2000," confirms the present argument by listing eleven "outcomes" upon which engineering programs will be assessed. Beginning in the year 2000, to be accredited by ABET, "engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs

(d) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(g) an ability to communicate effectively

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context

(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Now of these eleven outcomes, four - or over one third - may readily be classified as engaged with the liberal arts. Thus, again, in a four-to-five year program, more than a year of course content can be expected to be humanitas focused."Such course work," appealing again to existing criteria, must meet the generally accepted definitions that humanities are the branches of knowledge concerned with man [sic] and his [sic] culture, while social sciences are the studies of individual relationships in and to society. Examples of traditional subjects in these areas are philosophy, religions, history, literature, fine arts, sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, economics, and foreign languages . . . . Nontraditional subjects are exemplified by courses such as technology and human affairs, history of technology, and professional ethics and social responsibility (IV.C.3.d.[2][b]).