As a book to read cover-to-cover, Steps toward a Philosophy of Engineering possesses both the charms and tics of any collection of previously published essays. This collection of Mitcham's essays is a clearly-written, generous, and thoughtful guide. In other words, the volume as a whole should be assigned reading in graduate and advanced undergraduate courses.
Carl Mitcham is one of the most authoritative voices in the philosophy of technology in Spain. His lifelong work has contributed to the understanding of how Western culture has changed through technology, having written important classics in this field. This new volume provides a new perspective on engineering as that form of human agency from which modern technology emerges.— Andoni Alonso, Professor of Philosophy, Complutense University of MadridIn my view, modernity has created a technocracy, a world where large-scale engineering projects as well as engineers of all types (civil, mechanical, chemical, electrical, computer ... even social) play leading roles. As Mitcham argues, philosophy must not ignore this reality.— Yongmou Liu, Professor of Philosophy of Science and Technology, School of Philosophy, Renmin University of ChinaMitcham convincingly shows why the engineering design stance is a better perspective to understand the intricacies of knowledge production and its problems than the approach based on science, technology or innovation. It also enables us to truly understand the world we live in. This book sets out the first steps for setting an agenda for an invigorating philosophical work.— Andoni Ibarra, University of the Basque Country, Editor of Theoria:
Across the past three decades, few scholars have thought as carefully or cogently as Carl Mitcham about the technoscientific world taking shape around us. In Steps toward the Philosophy of Engineering, we are treated to many of his best thoughts all in one place. This is destined to be a landmark text. — Adam Briggle, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, University of North Texas
Carl Mitcham has worked for many years on bridging the gap between philosophy (his specialist discipline) and technology (the one with which he has been engaging). He is probably the most eminent and respected exponent of that relationship, having established his credentials through his seminal book Thinking through Technology: The Path between Engineering and Philosophy (Mitcham, 1994). … As in his groundbreaking book of 1994, Mitcham is nothing if not comprehensive in this collection. … This is enhanced in this book by a range of collaborators, and his academic links with China, a culture very different from America. His occasional use of figures and tables will hopefully entice engineering readers to engage with him. I read the electronic version, which was helpful in searching for keywords when I moved from reading to writing, but there is also an index. The downside of reading through a collection of essays is that there is inevitable repetition, although this could also be seen as concept reinforcement. The benefit of a collection is that individual pieces can be used for study and discussion by students and faculty – and even practitioners.