PhilSci Archive

Engineering Realities

Baird, Davis (2010) Engineering Realities. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 4 (1). pp. 94-110. ISSN 1913-0465

[img]
Preview
Text
11332-Article Text-33262-2-10-20100828.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (200kB) | Preview

Abstract

We live in a world that increasingly is designed by engineers. So it is worth asking what are engineers doing when they design. There is no simple universal answer to this question, and my strategy for answering it both acknowledges the impossibility of a simple answer, while also identifying and elaborating some important elements to engineering realities. I start with the simple posit that engineering a reality is about controlling aspects of that reality through designed artifice. I then “complexify” this simple idea by examining one company’s multiple contributions to engineering realities. Ometric Corporation was birthed out of the USC NanoCenter in the fall of 2004. The company makes spectrometric equipment that allows for “real time in line” analysis—and control—of materials. Markets that Ometric is focusing on include pharmaceuticals, food and energy. But Ometric lives in an engineer’s reality, while simultaneously working to engineer realities. It must survive financially, initially by selling the ideas behind its innovations to venture capitalists, and then by selling products to markets that may or may not currently exist. Ometric is the product of the University of South Carolina’s efforts to turn its intellectual property into gold for the University. Ometric, thus, is part of a larger effort to re-engineer the University and its relationship to industry. My examination of Ometric, then, identifies some key ways that “control through designed artifice” is a complex, and yet prevalent and powerful force in the construction of our realities.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Baird, Davis
Keywords: Scientific Realism; Epistemic Issues; Epistemology of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Jordan Miller
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2021 03:04
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2021 03:04
Item ID: 17904
Journal or Publication Title: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher: The University of Toronto
Official URL: https://spontaneousgenerations.library.utoronto.ca...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v4i1.11332
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 30 August 2010
Page Range: pp. 94-110
Volume: 4
Number: 1
ISSN: 1913-0465
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17904

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item