Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 353–361

What’s philosophically interesting about engineering ethics?


DOI: 10.1007/s11948-003-0032-y

Cite this article as:
Davis, M. SCI ENG ETHICS (2003) 9: 353. doi:10.1007/s11948-003-0032-y


What makes a subject philosophically interesting is hard-to-resolve confusion about fundamental concepts. Engineering ethics suffers from at least three such fundamental confusions. First, there is confusion about what the “ethics” in engineering ethics is (ordinary morality, philosophical ethics, special standards, or something else?) Second, there is confusion about what the profession of engineering is (a function, discipline, occupation, kind of organization, or something else?) Third, there is confusion about what the discipline of engineering is. These fundamental confusions in engineering ethics connect with philosophically interesting work in moral theory, political philosophy, and philosophy of science. Work in these areas may help with the philosophical problems of engineering ethics. But, equally important, work in engineering ethics may help with the philosophical problems in these others fields.


ethics morality profession philosophically interesting engineering 

Copyright information

© Opragen Publications 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Study of Ethics in the ProfessionsIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA

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