小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Economy of Workshop Mainipulation » CHAPTER III. ENGINEERING AS A CALLING.
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
CHAPTER III. ENGINEERING AS A CALLING.
It may in the abstract be claimed that the dignity of any pursuit is or should be as the amount of good it confers, and the influence it exerts for the improvement of mankind. The social rank of those engaged in the various avocations of life has, in different countries and in different ages, been defined by various standards. Physical strength and courage, hereditary privilege, and other things that once recommended men for preferment, have in most countries passed away or are regarded as matters of but little importance, and the whole civilised world have agreed upon one common standard, that knowledge and its proper use shall be the highest and most honourable attainment to which people may aspire.

It may be useless or even wrong to institute invidious comparisons between different callings which are all useful and necessary, and the matter is not introduced here with any view of exalting the engineering profession; it is for some reasons regretted that the subject is alluded to at all, but there is too much to be gained by an apprentice having a pride and love for his calling to pass over the matter of its dignity as a pursuit without calling attention to it. The gauntlet has been thrown down and comparison provoked by the unfair and unreasonable place that the politician, the metaphysician, and the moral philosopher have in the past assigned to the sciences and constructive arts. Poetry, metaphysics, mythology, war, and superstition have in their time engrossed the literature of the world, and formed the subject of what was alone considered education.

In a half century past all has changed; the application of the sciences, the utilisation of natural forces, manufacturing, the transportation of material, the preparation and diffusion of printed matter, and other great matters of human interest, have come to shape our laws, control commerce, establish new relations between people and countries—in short, has revolutionised the world. So rapid has been this change that it has outrun the powers of conception, and people waken as from a dream to find themselves governed by a new master.

Considering material progress as consisting primarily in the demonstration of scientific truths, and secondly, in their application to useful purposes, we can see the position of the engineer as an agent in this great work of reconstruction now going on around us. The position is a proud one, but not to be attained except at the expense of great effort, and a denial of everything that may interfere with the acquirement of knowledge during apprenticeship and the study which must follow.

The mechanical engineer deals mainly with the natural forces, and their application to the conversion of material and transport. His calling involves arduous duties; he is brought in contact with what is rough and repulsive, as well as what is scientific and refined. He must include grease, dirt, manual labour, undesirable associations, and danger with apprenticeship, or else be content to remain without thoroughly understanding his profession.

(1.) What should determine the social rank of industrial callings?—(2.) Why have the physical sciences and mechanic arts achieved so honourable a position?—(3.) How may the general object of the engineering arts be described?—(4.) What is the difference between science and art as the terms are generally employed in connection with practical industry?


欢迎访问英文小说网http://novel.tingroom.com

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533

鲁ICP备05031204号