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Engineering Ethics from a Justice Perspective: A Critical Repositioning of What It Means To Be an Engineer

Author(s): Caroline Baillie | Michael Levine

Journal: International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace
ISSN 1927-9434

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: critical repositioning | ethics | counter hegemony

We expect engineers, much as we expect doctors, teachers, plumbers, bankers and even our politicians to be honest. Minimally this means that they should not cheat, falsify documents or reports, keep promises and adhere to contractual obligations. But more can be said about the relation between engineering and ethics. Enlarging what it means to be an engineer is to understand the responsibility of a professional to see beyond what ethics means within the boundaries of contemporary pressures and measures of success, and to know what the available choices are before deciding on any new direction. Some ethical problems are internal to engineering itself. In this paper we use a social justice perspective to critique current ideas about engineering ethics and consider the enlarging which needs to occur to break through the dominant paradigms of the profession.
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