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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 57, Issue 1, 2020

Elena E. Chebotareva
Pages 131-145

Russian Engineering in the Context of Philosophical and Sociological Studies
Dramas and Phantoms

This article explores the problems of Russian engineering in the context of the world studies in philosophy of engineering. Firstly, the author highlights the main questions and topics of the modern philosophy of engineering: what engineering is, the “magic” and “human-oriented” nature of technologies, and models of engineering ethics. Secondly, the article presents a specific mythological narrative of domestic engineers (“the theory of a missed chance”) and shows the inclusion of this “theory” in alternate historical fiction. Thirdly, the article identifies the reasons for emergence of such mythology in the engineering environment. The author highlights a historical context of “missed chances” for the turning of technical inventions into innovations and claims that the country's engineering potential was not used to a full extent. For greater objectivity, the article uses the works both of foreign and domestic researchers. In addition, the author raised a question about the relatedness of the concepts of engineer and innovation. Finally, the article gives an answer to the question about the essence of the engineer; the author believes that the engineering is primarily an environment, close to the human life world, understanding and maintaining the links between science and technology, providing the necessary channels for transforming inventions into innovations, i.e. commercially realized technologies. The given definition demonstrates the prospects for the development of socio-humanitarian research in the field of engineering.

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