By Kenneth K. Humphreys
This compact reference succinctly explains the engineering profession's codes of ethics utilizing case stories drawn from judgements of the nationwide Society Engineers' (NSPE) Board of moral evaluation, reading moral demanding situations in engineering, building, and undertaking administration. It contains research inquiries to complement common engineering survey classes and an inventory of references to assist training engineers in exploring issues in depth.
Concentrating totally on events engineers stumble upon each day and providing pragmatic solutions to moral questions, What each Engineer should still learn about Ethics discusses fresh headline-making mess ups similar to the Challenger explosion, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the Hyatt-Regency inn cave in; considers the advantages and disadvantages codes of ethics; covers the applying of the "committee method" to precise instances; compares and contrasts moral codes and private values with replacement methods to morality; defines expert licensing and registration and enumerates their necessities; outlines criminal criteria for legal responsibility; emphasizes the significance of conversation, coordination, and documentation; encompasses a dialogue of "whistleblowing;" defines the engineer's basic moral accountability; and extra.
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Extra resources for What Every Engineer Should Know about Ethics
Philosophical inquiry insists on some kind of defense of these codes. It asks What makes this particular code of ethics the right, or appropriate, code of ethics? It may be the case that there can be no ultimate, rational justification of any particular code of ethics. However, the challenge of providing such a justification stimulates a process of inquiry that probes our most cherished commitments and beliefs. It makes us think about the ultimate reasons why we believe certain acts are morally right and others morally wrong.
If they do not, then these judgments are likely to carry very little weight outside the profession. There may be serious concerns about the impartiality and objectivity of a committee or board drawn predominantly from members of the profession. By analogy, we would have similar doubts about the impartiality and objectivity of a jury in a murder case made up exclusively of members of the defendant's family. Lack of Moral Authority The question of moral authority points toward a fundamental concern about the justification basis for professional codes of ethics in general.
The Natural Law Model of Moral Responsibility The Natural Law model of moral responsibility is far more pervasive and implicit than many people realize. Consider how often people will object to something because they claim that It just isn't natural. For example, many people will object to the prospect of extending the human life span an additional 50, 100, or 200 years because it would not be natural; it is not the way Nature designed us. Historically, the supposed dictates of Nature and the Natural Law have been instrumental in determining moral conduct.