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Engineering, Social Justice And Peace: A Revolution Of The Heart

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Engineering for Social Justice

Tagged Division

Liberal Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.581.1 - 11.581.15



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Paper Authors


George Catalano State University of New York-Binghamton

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George Catalano is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering.He researches and teaches in the areas of engineering design, the fluid dynamics of the natural world and applied mathematics and is included in the Philosophers’ Index for his work in environmental ethics

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Caroline Baillie Queens University-Kingston

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Caroline Baillie was appointed in 2003 as the Dupont Canada Chair in Engineering Education Research and Development, the first position of its kind in the world. Caroline previously worked for the UK Centre for Materials Education, which was a national programme to support teaching and learning within engineering.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Engineering, Social Justice and Peace: A Revolution of the Heart


The Engineering, Social Justice and Peace effort, begun at Queens University by a group of concerned academics from across Canada and the United States in the fall 2004, focuses upon the connections that exist among engineering and the pursuit of social justice and peace. Several conferences of interested faculty and practitioners have been held subsequently. The present work offers a new paradigm for engineering education based on the Integral Model of Education for Peace, Democracy and Sustainable Development and suggests modifications to the ABET criteria; proposes an engineering code of ethics based upon the notion of community in a morally deep world; and describes an engineering design algorithm consistent with the new code.

Key words: Integral model, morally deep world, ethics, design


The phrase, “a revolution of the heart,” is taken from the Catholic Workers movement, founded in the 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, a movement grounded in the recognition of the dignity of every human being and dedicated to promoting social justice and peace.1 The present work seeks to bring the concepts of social justice and peace into reform discussions ongoing in both engineering and engineering education. The term “social justice” was first used in 1840 by a Sicilian priest, Luigi Taparelli d’Azeglio, and given prominence by Antonio Rosmini–Serbati in La Costitutione Civile Secondo la Giustizia Sociale in 1848.2 Thirteen years later, John Stuart Mill in his development of Utilitarianism gave this approach to social questions a philosophical foundation.3-4 For us, social justice is the belief in an equitable, compassionate world where difference and diversity is understood and valued, and wherein human dignity, and the dignity of the Earth are honored and respected.

What then is peace? Definitions of peace range from the most pragmatic to the most abstract. Borrowing from the schema first proposed by Dante Alighieri, there are at least four levels for the meaning of peace.5 At the most fundamental or literal level, note the definition used by Ancient Romans who defined peace, pax, as absentia belli, or the absence of war. At the next highest level of meaning, the analogical, many believe that peace is more than the absence of war but also requires the presence of justice. In this conception, a society in which one group oppresses another lacks peace even in the absence of violence, because the oppression itself constitutes evil. At the third or moral level, peace refers to a harmonious balance between human beings, the rest of the natural world, and the cosmos. Peace does not necessarily have to be something the humans might achieve "some day" but rather can be created and expanded in small ways every day. At the highest or anagogical level, peace is perceived as a state of perpetual love. It comes from the understanding that any and all violence stems from an attachment, whether it is an attachment to a certain kind of truth or an attachment to survival. What is

Catalano, G., & Baillie, C. (2006, June), Engineering, Social Justice And Peace: A Revolution Of The Heart Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--14

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