The Good Engineer: Giving Virtue its Due in Engineering Ethics
Harris, C. E., Jr. (2008). The Good Engineer: Giving Virtue its Due in Engineering Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 14 (2): 153-64.
Abstract: During the past few decades, engineering ethics has been oriented
towards protecting the public from professional misconduct by engineers
and from the harmful effects of technology. This “preventive ethics”
project has been accomplished primarily by means of the promulgation of
negative rules. However, some aspects of engineering professionalism,
such as (1) sensitivity to risk (2) awareness of the social context of
technology, (3) respect for nature, and (4) commitment to the public
good, cannot be adequately accounted for in terms of rules, certainly
not negative rules. Virtue ethics is a more appropriate vehicle for
expressing these aspects of engineering professionalism. Some of the
unique features of virtue ethics are the greater place it gives for
discretion and judgment and also for inner motivation and commitment.
Four of the many professional virtues that are important for engineers
correspond to the four aspects of engineering professionalism listed
above. Finally, the importance of the humanities and social sciences in
promoting these virtues suggests that these disciplines are crucial in
the professional education of engineers.
(Something interesting I found)Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2009