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Chapter 6-2

PP247 Chapter 6-2: Unit 6 Reading 2

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Craig Beam

The Quest for a Code of Professional Ethics: An Intellectual and Moral Confusion By: John Lass Ethics itself is basically an openended, reflective and critical intellectual activity. Ethics is essentially problematic and controversial, both as far as its principles are concerned and in its application Ethics principles can only be established as a result of deliberation and argumentation Cannot be established by associations, organizations, or by consensus by their members By trying to codify and impose ethics, you contradict the notion of ethics itself, which presumes that persons are autonomous moral agents Such an attempt would make ethics heteronomous; it confuses ethics with some kind of externally imposed set of rules such as a code of law ethic s must be selfdirected rather than otherdirected In attaching disciplinary procedures, methods of adjudication and sanctions, formal and informal, to the principles that one calls ethical, one automatically converts them into legal rules or some other kind of authoritative rules of conduct To label such conventions, rules, and standards as ethical simply reflects an intellectual confusion about the status and function of them Ethics role in connection with projects is to appraise, criticize, and defend (or condemn) the projects themselves, the rules, regulations, and procedures they prescribe, and the social and political goals and institutions they represent Some General Comments on Professionalism and Ethics Professional does not = ethical There are no experts in ethics in the sense of expert in which professionals have special expertise that others do not share Knowledge of virtue is not like the technical knowledge that is possessed by a professional Everyone is, or ought to be, a teacher of virtue; there are no professional qualifications that are necessary for doing ethics Professionals are not exempt from the common obligations, duties, and responsibilities of ordinary people Professional distinction: they have undergone advanced, specialized training and they exercise control over the nature of their job and the services they provide Divide issues into macro and microethics Former comprises what might be called collective or social problems and the latter are concerned with moral aspects of personal relationships between individual professionals and other individuals who are their clients, colleagues, and employers Microethical issues usually pertain to the application of ordinary notions of honesty, decency, civility, humanity, considerateness, respect, and responsibility Common mistake to that all the extralegal norms and conventions governing professional relationships have a moral status, for every profession has norms and
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