Relevance of Philosophy

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Introduction /Overview

In this essay the challenge is to shown the relevance of philosophy to 21st century manufacturing. As philosophy is not a new concept there is a wide and defervesce range of ideas (on everything that existed and does not yet exist). The people who study philosophy and deal with such matters must have at one stage put forward some thoughts on manufacturing and even engineering in general. Philosophy comes from the Greek for "love of wisdom," giving us two important starting points: love (or passion) and wisdom (knowledge, understanding). Philosophy sometimes seems to be pursued without passion as if it were a technical subject like mathematics. Philosophy must come from some passion for the ultimate goal to be achieved: a reliable, accurate understanding ourselves and our world. Many think philosophy an idle, academic pursuit, never amounting to anything of practical value. The works of ancient Greek philosophers, ask the same questions which philosophers ask today. Doesn't this mean that philosophy never gets anywhere and never accomplishes anything? Philosophy is relevant as it makes us think about where we have come from, where we are at present and where we are going to in the future. The study of philosophy is usually conducted in one of two different ways: the systematic/ topical method and the historical/ biographical method. Both of these have their strengths and weaknesses and it is often easier to avoid focusing on one to the exclusions of the other, at least whenever possible. There are many different areas of philosophy which have relevance to manufacturing and will have relevance in the future. Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence. Some areas of study in philosophy are logic, ethics and epistemology (knowledge, ways of knowing) to name but a few important that are relevant to manufacturing. In this essay I hope to discover the link and the importance of philosophy in relation to manufacturing in the 21st century.

Main body

The main areas in which manufacturing are influenced by philosophy is ethics, logic and epistemology. Logic is the study of reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics engineering, and computer science. Logic examines general forms which arguments may take which forms are valid, and which are fallacies. It is a type of critical thinking. The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behaviour. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: met ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics Knowledge is about how things work and why they work and that’s what engineering and the sciences set out to do. Manufacturing is a by product of knowledge. These areas can be viewed from many philosophical points. And the different areas which have relevance to manufacturing can be put into three main branches and several sub branches. These main three are Epistemology, Logic and Ethics and some sub branches of the three main relevant branches to manufacturing, economic, technological mathematic, social and rational argument. The relevance of philosophy to manufacturing goes back long before the industrial revolution and even further back then the roman’s but to the first philosopher Pythagoras. These topics will be discussed in more detail later. Ethics or moral philosophy

This is the branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality that is, about concepts such as good and bad, right and wrong, justice and virtue. Anyone who has read Aristotle’s Ethics and has read modern moral philosophy must realise the great contrasts between them. The concepts which are prominent among the moderns seem to be lacking, far in the background, in Aristotle. Most noticeably, the term...
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