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Engineering and Capitalism: A Faculty Book Talk with Professor Carl Mitcham

December 1, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Earlier this year in Steps toward a Philosophy of Engineering I reviewed some 30 years of my effort to reflect critically on engineering. In the process it became apparent that one important missing element, in my work as well as in that of many others, was critical examination of the relationship between English speaking engineering and capitalism. This talk is thus an appendix to the book that also points toward what I hope will be further work. The talk will begin by considering a spectrum of key features of capitalism and then consider to what extent engineering engaged with and be engaged by these features and thus might or might not be complicit in its problems as well as its achievements.


Carl Mitcham is International Distinguished Professor of Philosophy of Technology at Renmin University of China, Beijing, and Emeritus Professor of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado. His publications include Thinking through Technology: The Path between Engineering and Philosophy (1994), Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics (4 vols., 2005), Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (2010, with Robert Frodeman and Julie Thompson Klein), Ethics and Science: An Introduction (2012, with Adam Briggle), and Steps toward a Philosophy of Engineering: Historico-Philosophical and Critical Essays (2020). Additionally he served as a member of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1994-2000) and on expert study groups for the European Commission (2009 and 2012). Awards include the International World Technology Network (WTN) award for Ethics (2006) and a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Universitat Internacional Valenciana, Spain (2010). He holds the BA and MA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado and the PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University.



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