This paper describes a teaching methodology whereby students can gain practical experience of ethical decision-making in the engineering design process. We first argue for the necessity to teach a ‘practical’ understanding of ethical issues in engineering education along with the usual theoretical or hypothetical approaches. We then show how this practical understanding can be achieved by using a collaborative design game, describing how, for example, the concept of responsibility can be explored from this practical basis. We conclude that the use (...) of games in design education can provide an excellent basis for discussing practical and ethical reasoning during the process of design. (shrink)
We argue that considering only a few ‘big’ ethical decisions in any engineering design process — both in education and practice — only reinforces the mistaken idea of engineering design as a series of independent sub-problems. Using data collected in engineering design organisations over a seven year period, we show how an ethical component to engineering decisions is much more pervasive. We distinguish three types of ethical justification for engineering decisions: (1) consequential, (2) deontological or non-consequential, and (3) virtue-based. We (...) find that although there is some evidence for engineering designers as ‘classic’ consequentialists, a more egocentric consequentialism would appear more fitting. We also explain how the idea of a ‘folk ethics’ — a justification in the second category that consciously weighs one thing with another — fits with the idea of the engineering design process as social negotiation rather than as technological progress. (shrink)
The philosophical mind-body problem, which Chalmers has named the 'Hard Problem', concerns the nature of the mind and the body. Physicalist approaches have been explored intensively in recent years but have brought us no consensual solution. Dualistic approaches have also been scrutinised since Descartes, but without consensual success. Mentalism has received little attention, yet it offers an elegantly simple solution to the hard problem.
George Berkeley (1685-1753) put forward a doctrine of mental monism, claiming that reality is fundamentally mental, and the physical world is a derived construct. This paper puts forward a defence of this theory, using a version of Berkeley.
1.1 All mental terms are defined by private ostensive definition. 1.1.1 For example, the word "red" used to denote the conscious colour experience of red, as opposed to red light or red paint, is defined by attending to a red sensation and designating it "red".
This short essay is a follow-on to Mental Monism Considered as a Solution to the Mind- Body Problem, in ‘Mind and its Place in the World: Non-Reductionist Approaches to the Ontology of Consciousness’, edited by Alexander Batthyany and Avshalom Elitzur, published by Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt, December 2005. It was originally planned as a final section of that essay but, at forty-four pages the latter was already oversize, so the parapsychology section was dropped from that publication.
Amit Goswami published his book, "The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World", in 1993. In 1996, he and Henry Swift started up the online newsletter Science Within Consciousness, which carries articles and news features connected with the Goswamian philosophy. Below, I comment on Goswami 's metaphysical theories as represented in his writings in the SWC newsletter, especially in his pieces: Monistic Idealism May Provide Better Ontology for Cognitive Science: A Reply to Dyer, The Hard Question: View from A (...) Science Within Consciousness, Toward an Understanding of the Paranormal, Amit Goswami was a professor at the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. He taught physics for 32 years in the USA, mostly at Oregon. He now is Senior Resident Researcher at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. (shrink)
Conscious experience is constitutive of existence. This entails the metaphysical theory known variously as 'mental monism' and 'subjective idealism'. It is summed up by Berkeley's motto that esse is either percipere or percipi: to be is to perceive or be perceived.