Engineering rigor and its discontents: Philosophical reflection as curative to math-physics envy.

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Goldberg, David E.
preprint description
This extended abstract critically exams the use of the terms "rigorous" and "soft" in the context of engineering modeling. Common usage of the terms is contrasted with Toulmin's notion of "reasonableness" and Schoen's notion of "reflective practice." The abstract continues by considering an economic model of models in engineering, suggesting that overly "rigorous" engineering practice may box itself into being unable to afford the models it values, thereby presenting a conundrum for the practice and teaching engineering that demands relaxation.