Global Philosophy, Technology, Ethics and Engineering Education: A Dialogue
I have been working, as a teacher and administrator, in higher education for better than 40 years. I've served on the faculty of both a liberal arts college and a school of engineering. My academic background is in the history of philosophy, but since boyhood I have sustained an interest in science and technology as well as the disciplines of my formal education. My years as a professor have been filled by the many dimensions of teaching, a vocation I have found both inspiring and gratifying. My tours of duty as an administrator have given me the opportunity to make a mark and help set a direction. I think this work has been creative but it did not, at least in the manner I did it, permit me the chance to do the amount of research and writing that are the hallmark of many professorial careers. As my teaching duties are now shifting perhaps it is time to engage more in the work of research and writing, applying as it were the lessons learned in the classroom.
Long gone are the days, in most areas of human endeavour including philosophy, when individuals would work alone and eventually publish the result of their labour. Scientists and engineers are collaborating, philosophers are working together with social scientists, lawyers, physicians and of course colleagues in other disciplines of the arts and sciences. The fine arts as well are increasingly collaborative and even interactive. Through the Internet much of this is done in the public arena. In this way the life of the mind has to an extent become a communitarian project. This website means to contribute to that communitarian effort.
In the spirit of dialogue and collaboration this website will include reflections and status reports on my current projects. I am interested in the intersections between tradition and modern technology. The process of globalisation leads often to encounters that pit the forces of economic markets and technological efficiencies against local values and indigenous knowledge.
I am including drafts of work, unpolished and incomplete. I welcome comments. Included also are PowerPoint slides of presentations of mine on topics I plan to pursue further. Together they exhibit a provisional workplan on diverse themes that I hope to draw together into a coherent whole.
My current research and writing interests focus on the philosophy of technology, global philosophy and technological ethics. Current projects reflect these theoretical perspectives. Engineering education projects address issues related to the internationalisation of higher education, the integration of the liberal arts and engineering, and ethics "beyond the codes" for engineers. A collaborative project to consider the impact of traditional and cultural values on the environment and natural ecology of China and India (with particular reference to water management) will involve international legal experts, cultural historians, environmental scientists and engineers.
Use the links at the foot of the page to navigate to reports and other writing according to general category.