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Philosophy of Engineering

Module ED0085

This Module is offered by Department of Educational Sciences.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2011/2

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2012WS 2011/2

Basic Information

ED0085 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
60 h 30 h 2 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


First we will introduce fundamental concepts of model and systems theory which are central for the natural and engineering sciences: What is a dynamical system? Which applications exist in physics, chemistry, biology, and electrical engineering? What distinguishes linear from non-linear dynamics? What is the connection between causality and control? What is the meaning of determinism, stochastics, and probability? How are evolution and technology linked up? Besides the methodological-epistemological foundations of natural and engineering sciences we will cover the historical and sociological development of science and technology: How do technological-scientific discoveries and inventions arise? What is the connection between technological-scientific innovation dynamics and economical-social development in the age of globalization? To what extent does the engineer bear responsibility? How can the impacts of technology be assessed?

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in the module, students are able to understand interdisciplinary references in engineering problem areas. They know the foundations of scientific method and are able to identify ethical statements about technology and to describe ethical conflicts by means of examples.



Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Philosophy of Engineering (MSE) singular or moved dates

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module consists of lectures where the theoretical knowledge is conveyed by the professors in terms of presentations.


PowerPoint presentations, documents online


Bucciarelli L.L. (2003): Engineering Philosophy, Delft University Press, Delft; Mainzer K. (2007): Thinking in Complexity, Springer: New York 5. Aufl.; Mainzer K. (2008): Komplexität, UTB-Profile: Paderborn

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The course achievement is determined by an written exam which is not graded, where students demonstrate their understanding of interdisciplinary references, epistemological foundations and ethical problems of engineering sciences. Questions and exercises concern the whole content of the course. No resources besides pen and paper are allowed.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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