Fundamentals of Ethics for Scientists and Engineers

Paperback | June 15, 2000

byEdmund G. Seebauer, Robert L. Barry

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Fundamentals of Ethics for Scientists and Engineers represents a new approach to introductory ethics that is both practical and accessible. Classical virtue theory is employed to provide a time-tested, simple, and easily remembered basis for ethical reasoning. The text is modularized for easyuse in both stand-alone ethics courses and as self-contained units within engineering core courses. It is accompanied by an instructor's manual that includes a comprehensive set of sample lectures and course assignments, detailed homework solutions, and many helpful hints for teaching an ethicscourse. To ground the ethical analysis in practical reality, each chapter contains a real-life case together with several fictional cases. The fictional cases breathe renewed vigor into the study of ethics by employing a new learning device: the "ethical serial." Each fictional case can be understoodindividually, but the cases are also unified by use of a single set of college-aged characters whose personalities are developed throughout the book. These characters mimic real people far more closely than those in other texts and act in situations that are directly familiar to students. The book is composed of four units. The first two focus on ethical reasoning, outlining within the context of science and engineering the notions of character formation and intention central to virtue theory. To prepare students to handle complex ethical questions, these units extend virtuetheory in a readily understandable way, accounting systematically for the consequences that follow an ethical decision. The second two units focus on practical issues such as intellectual property, conflict of interest, whistle blowing, and authorship in scientific publication. These units alsotreat more advanced topics like risk, resource allocation, conflicting ethical methods, and intuition in ethical decision making.

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Fundamentals of Ethics for Scientists and Engineers represents a new approach to introductory ethics that is both practical and accessible. Classical virtue theory is employed to provide a time-tested, simple, and easily remembered basis for ethical reasoning. The text is modularized for easyuse in both stand-alone ethics courses and a...

Edmund G. Seebauer is at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Robert L. Barry is at Chaplain, Catholic Campus Ministry, San Jose State University.

other books by Edmund G. Seebauer

Format:PaperbackPublished:June 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195134885

ISBN - 13:9780195134889

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Table of Contents

PrefaceUNIT ONE: FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES1. APPROACHING THE SUBJECT OF ETHICSAn ExampleThe Importance of Ethics in Science and EngineeringManaging Ethical DiscussionPhilosophy, Religion, and EthicsThe Existence of Right and WrongPrinciple: Certain aspects of right and wrong exist objectively, independent of culture or personal opinionThe Subject of Moral AnalysisThe Role of Codes of EthicsA Real-life Case: Destruction of the Spaceship Challengerr2. THE PERSON AND THE VIRTUESDeveloping a Model for the PersonComponents of the PsycheLimitations of the ModelHabits and MoralsThe Four Main VirtuesPrinciple: People should always decide and act according to the virtues insofar as possibleAn ExampleA Real-life Case; Toxic Waste at Love Canal3. ANALYZING EXTERIOR ACTS: SOME FIRST STEPSEthics as a CraftDistinguishing Exterior and Interior MoralityBeginning Case AnalysisEvent TreesA Real-life Case: Dow Corning Corp. and Breast Implants4. ANALYZING INTERIOR INTENTIONS: SOME FIRST STEPSDescribing IntentionThe Importance of IntentionEffort and the VirtuesPrinciple: People should try insofar as possible to continue to progress in the moral lifeThe Role of BenevolenceA Real-life Case: The Tuskegee Syphilis ExperimentSUMMARYSome Words of CautionNoteUNIT TWO: RESOLVING ETHICAL CONFLICTS5. TOWARD A HIERARCHY OF MORAL VALUESOn Selecting Principles and MethodsHierarchies of Values: Moral and NonmoralLine-drawingAn ExampleMathematical AnalogiesRanking the VirtuesA Real-life Case: Scientific Tests Using Animals6. STARTING MORAL JUDGMENTS: EVALUATING EXTERIOR ACTSA Mathematical AnalogyAn ExampleA Real-life Case: Chemical Disaster at Bhopal7. COMPLETING MORAL JUDGMENTS: THE DECISIVE ROLE OF INTENTIONEvaluating Interior GoodnessAn ExampleBalancing Evaluations of Interior and Exterior GoodnessThe "Solomon Problem"Principle: The obligation to avoid what is bad outweighs the obligation to do what is good Cooperating in the Evil of OthersA Real-life Case: The Problem of Performance Evaluation--Grade Inflation8. MORAL RESPONSIBILITYFactors Limiting Moral ResponsibilityDegrees of ResponsibilityAn ExampleThe "Sainthood" and "Devil" ProblemsA Real-life Case: Responsibility in Software EngineeringSUMMARYSome Words of CautionUNIT THREE: JUSTICE: APPLICATIONS9. TRUTH: PERSON-TO-PERSONTruth in ActionsTruth in WordsHarm from DeceptionHarm from Withholding TruthWhistleblowingHarm from Spreading TruthPrivacyA Real-lfe Case: Censorship of the Internet10. TRUTH: SOCIALDistinctions between Science and EngineeringApproach to Knowledge in ScienceRecognition from Scientific PublicationBlack and Gray in Scientific PracticeApproach to Knowledge in TechnologyIntellectual PropertyA Real-life Case: Copying Music Illegally Using the Internet11. FAIRNESS: PERSON-TO-PERSONConflict of InterestQualitative versus Quantitative FairnessCredit or Blame in Team ProjectsAuthorship QuestionsFairness in SupervisingFairness in Contracting with ClientsA Real-life Case: Problems with Peer Review12. FAIRNESS: SOCIALIntellectual Property and the SocietyEnvironmental IssuesExperts and PaternalismSocial Aspects of EmploymentA Real-life Case: Environmental Cleanup--Problems with the SuperfundSUMMARYSome Words of CautionUNIT FOUR: ADVANCED TOPICS13. RESOURCE ALLOCATIONWhat is Resource Allocation?Allocation by MeritAllocation by Social WorthAllocation by NeedAllocation by Ability to PayAllocation by Equal or Random AssignmentAllocation by SimilarityHow to Decide among MethodsA Real-life Case: Ethical Issues in Affirmative Action14. RISKA Historical PerspectiveDefining Safety and RiskEvaluating RiskMaking Decisions about RiskSome General GuidelinesA Real-life Case: Experimental Drug Testing in Humans15. DEALING WITH DIFFERING ETHICAL SYSTEMSDiffering AnthropologiesDiffering Principles and MethodsMonism and RelativismPostmodernismTrue PluralismConclusionA Real-life Case: Geological Experiments in Sacred Mountains16. HABIT AND INTUITIONRationalist Approaches to Moral ActionAdvantages of Rationalist ApproachesProblems with Rationalist ApproachesToward a More Comprehensive Approach to Moral BehaviorA Real-life Case: The Ethics of Human CloningChapters 1-15 end with Notes and ProblemsChapter 16 ends with Notes

Editorial Reviews

"It seems to possess the right mix of philosophy and technical relevance. Furthermore, it also allows for enhancing professional autonomy of students by providing cases for analysis and moral deliberation." --Roger Magyar, Drexel University