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Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
01SAVLZ, 01SAVJM, 01SAVLI, 01SAVLM, 01SAVLN, 01SAVLP, 01SAVLS, 01SAVLX, 01SAVMA, 01SAVMB, 01SAVMC, 01SAVMH, 01SAVMK, 01SAVMN, 01SAVMO, 01SAVMQ, 01SAVNX, 01SAVOA, 01SAVOD, 01SAVPC, 01SAVPI, 01SAVPL, 01SAVPN
Philosophy of engineering
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Aerospace Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Mechanical Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Automotive Engineering - Torino
Espandi...
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Terrone Enrico       60 0 0 0 1
SSD CFU Activities Area context
M-FIL/02 6 D - A scelta dello studente A scelta dello studente
Subject fundamentals
The course aims to lead students to a philosophical reflection on the nature of engineering. For this purpose, we will use contributions from different areas of philosophy. More specifically the course proposes:

1) A reflection on the scientific image of the world on which engineering relies on.

2) A reflection on the place of human beings in the scientific image of the world.

3) A reflection on the products of human rationality and creativity.

4) A reflection on the social context in which engineering takes place.

The ultimate purpose of the course is to lead students to develop a philosophical conception of engineering.

The mains questions addressed in the course are the following:
What is engineering?
Which objects does engineering produces?
Which is the relationship between engineering and science?
Which is the relationship between engineering and human intentionality and creativity?
Which is the relationship between engineering and social practices and institutions?
Expected learning outcomes
Students should acquire knowledge and capacity of understanding for what concerns the philosophical disciplines that contribute to shed light on the nature of engineering, viz. metaphysics, ontology and the philosophy of mind. Then, students should reflect on the nature of engineering thereby making their conception of engineering explicit.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
No special requirements, except for a basic disposition to read philosophical texts and to develop critical thinking is needed.
Contents
I. The issue of definition in philosophy (10 hours)
A brief introduction to philosophy and to the issue of definition.

II. The scientific image of the world (10 hours)
A philosophical investigation on the relationship between engineering and science. An introduction to some basic notions such as space, time, matter, energy, causality, law.

III. The human mind, its rationality and its creativity (10 hours)
An investigation on the place of human being in the scientific image of the world and on the way in which human creativity can enrich this images with new entities. An introduction to some basic notions such as mental state, experience, consciousness, intentionality, knowledge.

IV. The products of human creativity and rationality (10 hours)
A presentation of the main philosophical accounts of artifacts ans machines. An introduction to some basic notions such as form, matter, substance, function, design, reproduction.

V. The social context (10 hours)
A presentation of the main philosophical accounts of society. An introduction to some basic notions such as normativity, collective intentionality, documentality, practice, institution.

VI. The definition of engineering (10 hours)
An application of the notions introduced in the previous sections in order to address the basic question: what is engineering?I
Delivery modes
Although the will be no specific laboratories, there will be some seminar-like lectures in which students will propose and discuss their arguments.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Further bibliographical indications and lecture notes will be provided during the course. A preliminary list of references is the following; (*) indicates basic references, (**) further readings.

M. FERRARIS - E. TERRONE, FILOSOFIA TEORETICA, IL MULINO, BOLOGNA 2017. (*)
J.SEARLE, LA COSTRUZIONE DELLA REALTÀ’ SOCIALE, EINAUDI, TORINO, 1996. (*)
R. CASATI, PRIMA LEZIONE DI FILOSOFIA, LATERZA, ROMA – BARI 2011. (**)
T. CRANE, FENOMENI MENTALI. UN'INTRODUZIONE ALLA FILOSOFIA DELLA MENTE, CORTINA, MILANO 2001. (**)
D. M. GABBAY, A. W.M. MEIJERS, J. WOODS, P. THAGARD (EDS.), PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES, ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM 2009 (**)
M. C. GALAVOTTI - R. CAMPANER, FILOSOFIA DELLA SCIENZA, EGEA, MILANO 2017. (**)
HILPINEN, R., "ARTIFACT", THE STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY (WINTER 2011 EDITION), E. N. ZALTA (ED.), URL = . (**)
D. MARCONI, IL MESTIERE DI PENSARE, LATERZA, ROMA – BARI 2014. (**)
P. VALORE, L’INVENTARIO DEL MONDO: GUIDA ALLO STUDIO DELL’ONTOLOGIA, UTET, TORINO 2007. (**)
A. VARZI, ONTOLOGIA, LATERZA, ROMA – BARI 2005. (**)
Assessment and grading criteria
The final examination mark will be a discussion in which the student will discuss not only the topics of the course but also an essay that her or she has written on a subject established together with the professor.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18
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