The Conference of "Philosophy and Engineering”: The First Step in Strengthening the Relationship Between These Two Fields
Published: Saturday, December 2, 2023
The professors who were present at the first conference of "Philosophy and Engineering" believe that this event can be a fundamental and promising step to strengthen scientific communications between the scientific elites of both fields.
According to the public relations and website of Khatam University, a group of professors who were present at the first conference of “Philosophy and Engineering" emphasized that the recent conference can be a fundamental and promising step to strengthen scientific communications and relationships between the scientific elites of these two fields.
Improving the quality of engineering at the level of higher education requires strengthening the connection between this field and philosophy
Dr. Ali Khaki Seddigh; the professor of Electrical Engineering at Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology discussed about the impact of holding interdisciplinary conferences such as "Philosophy and Engineering" in the exchange of knowledge between experts of both fields. While appreciating the efforts of those involved in this conference at Khatam University, he said: “Since this conference was the first event in the field of engineering and philosophy at the national level, it can strengthen scientific communications between academics in both fields.”
He further added: "In our country, unfortunately, there is no real connection between philosophers and engineers. However, if we, as activists in the field of engineering, expect something to happen at the level of higher education in this field, should establish broader and deeper connections.”
Dr. Khaki Seddigh believed that the first philosophy and engineering conference will be the first step in this direction and that a road map can be drawn for the continuation of this relationship.
Education in engineering requires critical and philosophical thinking
Dr. Hossein Sheikh Rezaei, a faculty member of the Wisdom and Philosophy Research Institute, talked about the impact of holding interdisciplinary conferences such as "Philosophy and Engineering" in the exchange of improving the quality of the syllabi of both disciplines in universities and while appreciating the efforts of the participants of this conference in Khatam University added: “The number of engineering students in Iran is very large and engineering is considered as a prestigious field. However, until now, little attention has been given to its conceptual and philosophical aspects.”
He stated that the conference of philosophy and engineering was a gathering for the experts of both fields, and added: “Currently, we do not have the field of Philosophy Engineering and there is not even a course unit in this connection, but the recent conference showed that engineering has philosophical and social dimensions as well. Besides, engineering has a lot of ethics; which means that it should not be considered only as a technical major, but a human-social work.”
This faculty member of the Wisdom and Philosophy Research Institute added: “If you look at engineering from the point of view of the fields of humanities, it seems that our understanding of engineering is improving and we no longer have a solely technical understanding of it, which means that we can consider engineering as a multifaceted and multilayer field.
Sheikh Rezaei continued: “Engineering education requires teaching critical and philosophical thinking, and it is necessary that this view is somehow present in the compilation of lesson topics. It is worth mentioning that it is not necessary for this to happen in the elementary and undergraduate courses of the engineering field. Universities can slowly prepare textbooks and contents in this field which can be later included in the syllabi.”
It is possible to introduce new topics from philosophy to engineering and vice versa
Dr. Abdollah Shamisa, the director of the electrical engineering department of Khatam University and the executive secretary of the "Engineering and Philosophy Conference" also stated that this conference was the result of several months of efforts by faculty members in the Department of Philosophy and Electrical Engineering of Khatam University and said: "Fortunately, although this was the first conference, it was a successful achievement and this shows that there are many people who are concerned about different issues, both in the field of engineering and in the field of philosophy.”
He stated that the sciences in general are moving towards becoming interdisciplinary, and added: “Interdisciplinary discussions are more attractive both in universities and for those who follow the discussions just out of interest, and these meetings help both parties accept each other's opinions and the content of lessons from different disciplines more easily. The ideas are shared with each other and many times it can cause the production of joint content that can be used in both fields which seems to be a win-win situation for both parties.”
The director of the Department of Electrical Engineering of Khatam University added: “We expect that such events cause a change in engineering views and new syllabi from philosophy can be introduced into it. On the other hand, in the field of philosophy, more attention can be paid to the discussions in the field of engineering.
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