Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 567–580 | Cite as

Teaching Ethics to Engineers: A Socratic Experience

  • Gonzalo GénovaEmail author
  • M. Rosario González
Original Paper


In this paper we present the authors’ experience of teaching a course in Ethics for Engineers, which has been delivered four times in three different universities in Spain and Chile. We begin by presenting the material context of the course (its place within the university program, the number of students attending, its duration, etc.), and especially the intellectual background of the participating students, in terms of their previous understanding of philosophy in general, and of ethics in particular. Next we set out the objectives of the course and the main topics addressed, as well as the methodology and teaching resources employed to have students achieve a genuine philosophical reflection on the ethical aspects of the profession, starting from their own mindset as engineers. Finally we offer some results based on opinion surveys of the students, as well as a more personal assessment by the authors, recapitulating the most significant achievements of the course and indicating its underlying Socratic structure.


Ethical education Engineers’ mentality Online discussion forum Fundamental experiences Socratic dialogue 



This work is part of the research developed within Project FFI2012-37670, “Fundamentos filosóficos de la idea de solidaridad: amor, amistad y generosidad” (philosophical foundations of the idea of solidarity: love, friendship and generosity), supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de InformáticaUniversidad Carlos III de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de FilosofíaPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Departamento de Teoría e Historia de la EducaciónUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de FilosofíaUniversidad de Santiago de ChileSantiagoChile

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