Ways of Thinking, Ways of Seeing: Mathematical and other by John Monk (auth.), Chris Bissell, Chris Dillon (eds.)

By John Monk (auth.), Chris Bissell, Chris Dillon (eds.)

This interesting ebook examines a number of the features of technological/engineering types which are more likely to be strange to those that have an interest basically within the heritage and philosophy of technology and arithmetic, and which differentiate technological versions from medical and mathematical ones. subject matters which are highlighted comprise:

• the position of language: the versions constructed for engineering layout have led to new methods of conversing approximately technological structures
• groups of perform: with regards to the former aspect, specific engineering groups have specific methods of sharing and constructing wisdom
• graphical (re)presentation: engineers have built some ways of decreasing relatively complicated mathematical versions to extra basic representations
• reification: hugely summary mathematical types are became ‘objects’ that may be manipulated kind of like elements of a actual approach
• machines: not just the at the moment ubiquitous electronic desktop, but in addition older analogue units – slide principles, actual types, wind tunnels and different small-scale simulators, in addition to mechanical, electric and digital analogue desktops
• arithmetic and modelling as a bridging device among disciplines

This publication stories basically modelling in technological perform. it really is worthy noting that types of the sort thought of within the ebook will not be continually hugely valued in formal engineering schooling at collage point, which regularly takes an “applied technology” method with regards to that of the average sciences (something which may bring about disaffection at the a part of students). but in a casual context, corresponding to laboratories, business placements, and so forth, a truly diverse state of affairs obtains. a couple of chapters considers such epistemological elements, in addition to the prestige of alternative different types of versions in the engineering schooling group.

The e-book may be of curiosity to working towards engineers and technologists; sociologists of technology and expertise; and historians and philosophers of technology and arithmetic. it's going to even be written in a manner that might be obtainable to non-specialists.

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Additional info for Ways of Thinking, Ways of Seeing: Mathematical and other Modelling in Engineering and Technology

Sample text

Additionally, a statement might be provided about the temperature T at which the diode is operating which, in the absence of any information about the application of the particular diode, is likely to be an assumed value. Fleck presumed that entry into any field involved an ‘apprenticeship’ or induction that subjected the novice to ‘authoritarian suggestion’ and ‘gentle constraint’. The apprenticeship develops a way of seeing that renders visible that which to those outside the discourse is invisible (Fleck 1981, 10), and is effectively an initiation into the ways of seeing, thinking and talking of a particular community of practice.

Once adopted, a model becomes part of the discourse about a reality that may be a fiction, but which is linked to the world outside the discourse by statements made in response to personal experiences, or by statements generated by 26 J. Monk instruments, such as measurements. A model, therefore, is embedded in a discourse and associated with those techniques and conventions for producing explanations that are acceptable within that discourse or community of practice. The assertion that a model represents an object can be translated to say ‘The statements shaping the model also shape the object’.

Sellars (1963, 56, §50) makes a similar point about signification and his remarks could also be adapted to say that fragments of discourse setting out an 1 Creating Reality 25 object and its model are ‘two expressions, at least one of which is in our own vocabulary, [and which] have the same use’. Since our links with the rest of the world are sporadic, and an omniscient view is beyond reach, the accuracy of any statement contributing towards the reality constructed by a discourse can seldom be authenticated, and any such authentication is intensely personal and transient.

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