Reflections of a Water Professional: Essays in the Philosophy of Engineering
University of Exeter
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Philosophy of Engineering is a reasonably new field of thought when compared to philosophy of science or technology (Pauli, 2012; Vermaas et al., 2014). Taking this further, philosophy of water management is an even newer, emerging even, venture. Such philosophical disciplines share common ancestry and interdependencies between academic, practitioner, science and humanities perspectives. Whilst this historical inheritance brings with it problems of interplay, it enables unrivaled freedom to explore the nuances of managing water in society in a more (dare I use the word) holistic way. Philosophy of engineering allows conceptual, ontological, epistemic, ethical and social issues to be considered based on detailed philosophical, sociological and reflective studies on engineering (or in this case, water management) practices. By compiling and making public these essays I hope to contribute to the ongoing thought in this area, as well as perhaps encouraging more engineers and water professionals to think reflexively in their everyday work. I wrote these essays whilst undertaking an MRes programme 3 years after completing my PhD, because I felt the need to explore the ‘whys’ of the empirical water engineering I was doing. It was a rewarding journey and I hope more water professionals are able to take such a path. Please forgive any naivety herein – these ramblings represent initial steps on my philosophical voyage.
Collection of essays