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Engineering and ethics

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L122-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2021
Retrieved June 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

Engineering ethics is a form of applied or professional ethics concerned with the conduct of engineers strictly speaking. ‘Engineer’ is has a number of uses not relevant here, for example, for train driver. Though engineers do many different things, they typically share a common history. That history includes codes of ethics, that is, special standards of conduct (both written and unwritten). Most codes today explicitly declare the public health, safety, and welfare ‘paramount’. Many questions of engineering ethics concern interpreting the terms ‘public’, ‘safety’, and ‘paramount’. Engineers also have important obligations to client and employer, including confidentiality, proper response to conflict of interest, stewardship of resources, and honesty (not only avoiding false statements but also volunteering certain information). Each engineer also has ethical obligations to other engineers and to the profession as a whole.

Citing this article:
Davis, Michael. Engineering and ethics, 2021, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L122-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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