Click to Print This Page
Code ENS 302
Term 201602
Title Technology and Society
Faculty Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Subject Engineering Sciences(ENS)
SU Credit 3
ECTS Credit 6.00 / 5.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Instructor(s) Kemal ?nan,
Language of Instruction English
Level of Course Undergraduate
Type of Course Click here to view.
(only for SU students)
Mode of Delivery Formal lecture,Interactive lecture,Recitation
Planned Learning Activities Interactive,Learner centered,Communicative,Discussion based learning,Project based learning,Guided discovery,Other

In this course the social impact of technology or its principal backbone, namely that of automation technologies is investigated. A historical perspective is presented in order to grasp the contemporary intellectual climate followed by a brief exposure to the recent history of automation concepts and technologies. This is further followed by first looking at the economic impact of automation technologies following various scenarios and then discussing politics associated with an automation economy. Finally we shall discuss, using recent theories of justice, the conditions for a just society under the tension of the two maxims of the French Revolution: liberty and equality.


The objective of this course is to bring into attention the social impact of contemporary technological progress and lay bare the consequences it may give rise to in near future. For that purpose we follow an approach that views automation as the backbone of contemporary technology . The material used in the course and the main theme of the course, namely automation unemployment, is one of the most relevant topics that will prepare the student at an existential level to a future where safe jobs will be more scarce and competition will be fiercer.

Learning Outcome

Learn the historical and logical roots of knowledge in three categories : natural science, human science and system science and the great Copernican revolution
as elaborated by Thomas Kuhn.

Appreciate the nature and future projections on the three categories of knowledge
Appreciate the nature and history as well as the mathematically ,biologically and philosophically alleged limits of automation
Appreciate the problem of technological unemployment problem
Appreciate and understand some contemporary thoughts on economic future
Learn the problem of nationalism in an industrial society and where it stands in an automation society
Appreciate the problem of equality vs creativity in automation society : concepts of theories of justice

Programme Outcomes
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5
2 Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5
3 Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 5
4 Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5
5 Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 5
Common Outcomes ForFaculty of Eng. & Natural Sci.
1 Possess sufficient knowledge of mathematics, science and program-specific engineering topics; use theoretical and applied knowledge of these areas in complex engineering problems. 2
2 Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose. 2
3 Develop, choose and use modern techniques and tools that are needed for analysis and solution of complex problems faced in engineering applications; possess knowledge of standards used in engineering applications; use information technologies effectively. 3
4 Ability to design a complex system, process, instrument or a product under realistic constraints and conditions, with the goal of fulfilling specified needs; apply modern design techniques for this purpose. 2
5 Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas. 2
6 Knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development. 4
7 Knowledge of impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, health and societal context; knowledge of contemporary issues; awareness on legal outcomes of engineering solutions; understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. 5
Common Outcomes ForSchool of Management
1 Demonstrate an understanding of economics, and main functional areas of management. 4
2 Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 5
Electronics Engineering Program Outcomes Area Electives
1 Use mathematics (including derivative and integral calculations, probability and statistics), basic sciences, computer and programming, and electronics engineering knowledge to design and analyze complex electronic circuits, instruments, software and electronics systems with hardware/software. 2
2 Analyze and design communication networks and systems, signal processing algorithms or software using advanced knowledge on differential equations, linear algebra, complex variables and discrete mathematics. 2
Materials Science and Nano Engineering Program Outcomes Area Electives
1 Applying fundamental and advanced knowledge of natural sciences as well as engineering principles to develop and design new materials and establish the relation between internal structure and physical properties using experimental, computational and theoretical tools. 1
2 Merging the existing knowledge on physical properties, design limits and fabrication methods in materials selection for a particular application or to resolve material performance related problems. 1
3 Predicting and understanding the behavior of a material under use in a specific environment knowing the internal structure or vice versa. 1
Assessment Methods and Criteria
  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Midterm 30
Assignment 30
Recommended or Required Reading

Course Slides


1 - The Singularity is Near : When Humans Transcend Biology , Ray Kurzweil,
Viking 2005 , ISBN 0-670-03384-7
2 - The End of Science , John Horgan , Helix 1996, ISBN 0-201-62679-9
3 - The Copernican Revolution , Thomas S. Kuhn, Harvard University Press , 1957, (tenth printing 1979)
ISBN 0-674-17103-9
4 - The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn, University of Chicago Press , 1962 , (second enlarged ed. 1970), ISBN 0-226-45804-0
5 - Relativism and the Social Sciences , Cambridge University Press 1985,
ISBN 0-521-33798-4
6 - Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, MIT Press 1965
ISBN 0-262-73009-X
7- The Human Use of Human Beings, Norbert Wiener, De Capo Press 1988
ISBN 0-306-80320-8
8 - Godel's Proof , Ernest Nagel and James R. Newman ,New York University Press 2001, ISBN 0-8147-5816-9
9 - Godel, Escher, Bach , Douglas R. Hofstadter,Basic Books 1979,
ISBN 0-465-02656-7
10 - Freedom and Neurobiology , J. R. Searle ,Columbia University Press 2007,
ISBN 0-231-13752-4
11 - What Computers still can't do, H. L. Dreyfuss MIT Pres 1992
ISBN 0-262-54067-3

12 - Information Rules , Carl Shapiro , Hal R. Varian, Harvard Business School Press 1999, ISBN 0-87584-863-X
13 - The End of Work , Jeremy Rifkin, Putnam 1996, ISBN 0-87477-824-7
14 - The Lights in the Tunnel , Martin Ford, Acculant 2009 ,
ISBN -10 1-4486-5981-7
15 - Supercapitalism , Robert R. Reich , Vintage 2007, ISBN 978-0-307-27799-2
Another formulation of the current economical problem as seen by a politician : secretary of labor of Clinton.
16 - Nationalism and After , E. H. Carr , Macmillan 1945, ISBN ?
17 - Nations and Nationalism since 1780 , E. J. Hobsbawm , Cambridge 1990,
ISBN 0-521-43961-2
18 - Nations and Nationalism , E. Gellner , Cornell University Press 1983,
ISBN 0-8014-9263-7
19 - Plough, Sword and Book , E. Gellner , University of Chicago Press 1988,
ISBN 0-226-28702-5
20 - The World is Flat , T. Friedman , Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2005,
ISBN 10 : 0-374-29288-4
21 - Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and A. D. Williams, Portfolio 2006,
ISBN 978-1-59184-138-8
22 - How we compete , S. Berger , Doubleday 2005, ISBN 0-385-51359-3
23 - Making Globalization Work , J. Stiglitz Allen Lane 2006,
ISBN-10 : 0-713-99972-1
24 - Cities and the Wealth of Nations , J. Jacobs , Vintage 1984,
ISBN 0-39472911-0
25 - The rise of the Creative Class , R. Florida , Basic Books 2003,
ISBN-13: 978-1864032567
26 - The flight of the Creative Class , R. Florida , Harper Business 2005,
ISBN 0-06-075690-X

27 - Endogenous Growth Theory, P. Aghion, P. Howitt , MIT Press 1998
ISBN-10 : 0-262-01166-2
28- Justice, M. J. Sandel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2009 , ISBN 978-0-374-18065-2
29 - A Theory of Justice, J. Rawls, Belknap Press 1971 , ISBN 0-674-01772-2
30 - The Law of Peoples , J. Rawls , Harvard University Press 2002,
ISBN 0-674-00542-2
31 - The Idea of Justice, A. Sen , Belknap Press 2009, ISBN 978-0-674-03613-0
1 - (49':52'')
2 - (34' : 18'')
Kurzweil general talk on Singularity
3 - (23':42'')
Three talks by Kurzweil related to education
4a - (6':39'')
4b - (7':22'')
4c - (5' : 14'')
(the following web site contains an animation of helio(sun) centered and earth centered orbits of Mars : not a video !!)
5 - A 10 minute duration musical dance celebrating the new universe created by Galileo in J. Losey's film version of B. Brecht's play Galileo (Chapter 9 of the DVD)
An authors@google talk by the philosopher J. Searle on free will at
6a - (1:05': 33'')
A Conversations with History series talk by the philosopher H. L. Dreyfuss at
6b - (57' : 18'')
An authors@google talk by Jeremy Rifkin at
7 - (50':42'')
An MIT series video talk by T. Friedman on his book The World is Flat at
8 - (48':20)
An authors@google series talk by Dan Tapscott on his book Wikinomics at
9 - (50':42')
An authors@google talk by nobel laurate Joseph Stiglitz on Making Globalization Work at
10 - (42':27'')
A video talk by R. Florida on his theory of the creative class at
11 - (59':22'')
A TED series talk by P. Romer on charter cities at
12 - (19':40'')
An interactive talk by M. J. Sandel on Markets and Morals at
13 -
A Conversations with History series talk at UC Berkeley with nobel laurate economics Professor Amartya Sen and another talk related to justice.
14 - (59' : 31'')
15 - (1h : 10 ? : 16??)
A 2007 talk by Marvin Minsky on recent trends (common sense resoning) on AI in MIT
16 - (1h 23' 10'')
Two talks by neuro scientist Antonio Damasio on the role of emotions on will and consciousness
17 - (34' 02'') (Barcelona Conference)
18 -
(1h 05' 35'') Fora TV
A talk by brain-philosopher Patricia Churchland on free will
19 -,1f7649b1cd3b606a03ea/2-11-Patricia-Churchland-on-Free-will.html (10' 30'') TSN
A talk by Sir Ken Robinson on shortcomings of contemporary education
20 - (11' 40'') RSA