Conducting the Engineer's Approach to Problem Solving

Dr. Billy Vaughn Koen

Published by Oxford University Press, March, 2003

“The best description of engineering that I have ever seen, and one of the most provocative hypotheses about science and nature that I have ever seen!” —- Dr. William A. Wulf, President, National Academy of Engineering

AUTHOR'S DESCRIPTION: If your world is not presently as you would have it, then you should be interested in the most effective method for causing change. This book establishes universal method. It is about the method you use, I use, and everyone has used since the birth of humanity.

Philosophers have long sought universal method. They failed to look for it in the most unlikely of places,in the engineering method. The objective of Discussion of the Method is to define the engineering method and to generalize it to universal method. An engineer solves problems using heuristics. A heuristic is anything that provides a plausible aid or direction in the solution of a problem but is, in the final analysis, unjustified, incapable of justification, and fallible. If you desire change, if this change is to be the best available, if the situation is complex and poorly understood, and if the solution is constrained by limited resources, then you are in the presence of an engineering problem. What human has not been in this situation? If you cause this change by using the heuristics that you think are the best available, then you too are an engineer. To be human is to be an engineer.

Although there is one universal method, there are many implementations of it. Each person who reads this book will read a different one and will read still another if it is reread. Characterizing the uniqueness of each of us is an important and essential part of this book. Universal method defines our separate humanities.

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The Engineering Method and the Heuristic: A Personal History


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Link to Oxford University Press Catalog entry.

Link to Amazon.com entry.

Link to Barnes & Noble entry.

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DISCUSSION OF THE METHOD may interest you in continuing reseach in the issues raised (To Come):

  • Skepticism
  • EPR Experience
  • Goedel's Proof
  • Philosophical encyclopedias of interest:

  • number one
  • number two