PROFESSIONAL ETHICSLecture Two
AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICSDr. N. Sreekumar IIT Madras
What is the Use of Ethics?
Negative Approach• Otherwise you will be
caught• You can’t help, if you gain
a bad name, you can’t succeed
• A burden and should be separated from professional concerns
• Has to do with religion and God and not with practical life
Positive Approach• For total development• Long-term• More meaningful• Professional concerns need
to be integrated with ethical concerns
Nature and Purpose
• Examining the two models of profession.
• Emphasize two different ideals.
Business Model Social Contract
economic factors service aspects
• Economic factors are emphasized.
• A professional is mainly concerned with increasing his income.
• Sole intention is economic advantage.
• Makes explicit appeals to service in order to cover up his economic interests.
• Emphasizes the importance and special nature of his services to the society as a professional as a justification for the high rewards he demands.
• Argues for self-governance so that he can enjoy a higher degree of freedom from the government and the society.
• Hides from the public the real problem.
• Uses ambiguous language.
• I do not want to share and others know what exactly the problem is
CT ScanMRI Scan
Dr. K.L.MISRAMBBS, FRCS, MRCP, RACF, RTSO
Social Contract Model
• Highlights the service orientation factor
• Professional as a guardian of public trust.
• Inspired by the Social Contract theorists like Thomas Hobbs and John Locke
Locke, John (1632–1704)
• A social contract is implicit in the very nature of the relationship a professional has with the society.
• There exists an unstated agreement and correspondingly a set of mutual expectations. Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679.
• A professional agrees to devote himself for the service of the society with all its responsibility.
• Professional agrees to regulate himself in the provision of those services.
• In return the society agrees to give the professional a place of honour and a good livelihood.
• Society in turn allows him a good amount of autonomy.
A Balanced Model
• Both these models represent seemingly opposite standpoints.
• Both contain certain aspects which are important to any model of profession.
• Economic factor is very important as without a decent livelihood we cannot expect a professional to deliver his services effectively.
• Service orientation is also very important. A professional finds a respectable place in the society primarily because his services are valuable to the society.
• A profession should not be a conspiracy against the society.
• Starts from day to day life.
• To live a better life
• Natural quest to explore and to know what is at the depth
• The things we see, we experience, we aspire and desire…
• Segmentation of human society into various functional spheres.
• Each has a definite function in the society
• Each may enjoy relatively autonomous status.
• A professional and her services have become inevitable ingredients of modern life.
What is a Profession?
A profession consists of a limited group of persons who have acquired some special skill and are therefore able to perform the functions attached to that skill in the society better than the average person. In other words, a profession is a calling whose members profess to have acquired special knowledge, by training or experience or both, so that they may advice or serve others in that special field.
Harris, Pritchard, and Rabins. Engineering Ethics
A calling whose members profess to have acquired special knowledge, by training or experience or both, so that they may advice or serve others in that special field
Who is a Professional?
Professionalism is About….
• A professional is different from others in the society
• Expertise • The professional should possess accurate
knowledge of the fundamental facts upon which professional action is based
• He/ she should be able to apply that knowledge in the proper way.
• This knowledge makes him/her different and distinguished.
• This special knowledge will ensure quality of service.
Clearly Defined Permanent Membership
• Professions often presuppose a permanent membership on some legal or socially accepted organizations. (Eg. M.B.B.S, L.L.B., M.E., etc ).
• This will help to keep away the amateur. • Many professions makes it a prerequisite • Help maintaining fixed standards of profession
which are essential for better results. • They ensure that the professional is properly
educated to carry out his trade.
• Society grants a certain level of autonomy to the professional society.
• Only the professional community can determine the nature of professional services.
• This autonomy is necessary to perform the duties associated with the profession in a fearless manner.
• Any mode of intervention may affect the efficiency of the services of the professional.
• This autonomy is a recognition for the services the professional communities to the society.
• Service orientation is a major characteristic feature that distinguishes a profession from a mere occupation or job.
• Without society, professional service becomes meaningless.
• Values in profession
What is Ethics?
• A normative science of conduct of human beings living in society.
• It is a branch of philosophy that studies both moral and immoral behaviour in order to make well-founded judgements and arrive at adequate recommendations.
What is Ethics?
• Its object is the study of both moral and immoral behaviour in order to make well-founded judgements and to arrive at adequate recommendations.
• Question of Justification
Directly• Conduct• Behaviour• Actions• What you say
Indirectly• Beliefs• Attitudes• Desires• Aspirations• Looks• Dispositions