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PHIL 2135 Final: CU19: Ethics & Engineering (class notes)

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PHIL 2135
Loyd Eby

Ethics in Business & Professions Final Exam CU 19: Ethics & Engineering  Some problems for engineering o Safety and efficacy are often in conflict o Relationship between cost (expenditure) and outcome is not linear o Some stopping point must be chosen, and there is no hard rule for where this should be located  Joel Kupperman’s Account of character, as the presence or absence of: o 1) Disposition to recognize certain situations as ethically problematic o 2) Disposition to treat certain factors as having special weight in ethical decisions o 3) Concerns for certain things thought to matter o 4) Commitments that provide a connecting threat among the different moments of the agent’s life o Disposition meaning an evolutionary or biological desire to act in a certain way  Moriarty “Ethics, Ethos, and the Professions”- “ a virtue” is a practice in search of an excellence, which, presupposes a disposition to engage in the practice in the first place” o Ethical issues arise out of professional practice o In engineering, values may be in conflict  Like how efficiency may be in conflict with environmental concerns o Rule-based systems of ethics are questionable, not because they are not useful, but because they are not used  So this calls for virtue ethics- based on developing agent’s character o Objectivity- treating things as objects, but also, essentially, fairness, impartially, being oriented outwardly- instead of on the impact on oneself or on the groups with which one identifies  Not aloof, uninvolved, or uncommitted  To be disinterested rather than uninterested  Does not allow for bias  Committed in a way that takes account of all the relevant factors  Set aside one’s biases and special interests  Objectivity requires self-transcendence- and self-transcendence makes social ethical life possible. We must go beyond self-interest o Virtues- qualities contributing to the good of one’s whole life, and cultures are related to the pursuit of human goods; the conception of which can only be elaborates and possessed within a continuing social tradition o Care- links humans to their world and is connective  Macintyre- relationships take “life as dependent on connection, sustained by activities of care, as based on a bond of attachment rather than a contract of agreement”  Moriarty- care may require or result in fairness, objectivity, nurturing, rigor, humility, hope, and exploring and/or accepting alternating rhythms o A virtue ethic headlines care and objectivity- thus, should not promote an ideal ethos for engineering profession 1 Ethics in Business & Professions Final Exam o How can engineers design and create devices that influence society in way that enhance the social good?  By practicing the virtues of care and objectivity  Mike Martin: Whistleblowing and personal Life- 3 approaches concerning whistleblowing o 1) Condemn whistleblowers as disloyal to their company and undermines teamwork based on the hierarchy of authority within the corporation o 2) Regard whistleblowing as a tragedy to be avoided o 3) Affirm unequivocally the obligation of engineers to whistleblow in certain circumstances, and to treat this obligation as paramount  Richard De George’s statement of the 3 view o 1) Serious and considerable harm to the public is involved; o 2) One reports the harm and expresses moral concern to one’s immediate superior; o 3) One exhausts other channel within the corporation; o 4) One has available “documented evidence that would convince as reasonable and that one’s view of the situation is correct” o 5) One has “good reasons to believe that by going
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