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Virtue Ethics (Engineering Ethics)

Date post: 12-May-2015
Author: rafael-labunog
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2. Virtue Ethics

  • What is Virtue Ethics
    • Emphasizes character more than rights and rules.
    • Character
      • Is the pattern of virtues (morally desirable) and vices (morally undesirable)

3. Virtues vs. Vices

  • Virtues
    • Desirable habits or tendencies in action, commitment, motive, attitude, emotion, ways of reasoning, and ways of relating to others.
  • Vices
    • Are morally undesirable habits or tendencies.

4. Relating to Engineering

  • Engineers Virtue
    • Competence, honesty, courage, fairness, loyalty and humility.
    • Vices on Engineers
    • - incompetence, dishonesty, cowardice, unfairness, disloyalty, and arrogance.

5. Virtues in Engineering

    • Most comprehensive virtue of engineers isresponsible professionalism .
    • These can be achieve through 4 umbrella virtues:
    • - public well-being
    • - professional competence
    • - cooperative practices
    • - personal integrity

6. Public-Spirited Virtues

    • Focused on the good of clients and the wider public.
    • The minimum virtue isnonmaleficence(tendency not to harm others intentionally), preventing or removing harm to others and, more positively promoting the public safety.
    • Generosity , going beyond minimum requirements of helping others.


    • Generosity can be implies by engineers who voluntarily give their time, talent and money to their professional societies and local communities.
    • Justice , within corporate government, and economic practices is an essential virtue in theprofession of engineering.

8. Proficiency Virtues

    • Virtue of mastery of ones profession, in particular mastery of the technical skills that characterized good engineering practices.
    • How:
    • Competence -be well prepared for jobs one undertakes.
    • Diligence -alertness to dangers and careful attention to detail in performing task, example avoiding the deficiency of laziness and the excess of workaholic.

9. Teamwork Virtues

    • Are those especially that are most important in enabling professionals to work successfully with other people.
    • Includes collegiality, cooperativeness, loyalty, respect for legitimate authority.
    • Also important is the leadership authority, the ability to motivate others to meet valuable goals.

10. Self-Governance

    • Are those necessarily exercising moral responsibility.
    • Centers onmoral understanding and perception . This includes commitment and putting understanding into action (courage, self-discipline, perseverance, fidelity to commitments, self-respect and integrity).

11. Competence & Conscientiousness

    • Conscientious engineers are competent .
    • Flormans Estimate:
    • 98%of engineers failures are caused by incompetence.
    • 2%greed, fraud, dishonesty, and other conventional understandings of wrongdoings, often in addition to sloppiness.

12. Competence

    • Performing with requisite skills and experience.
    • Implies, exercising due care, persistence, and diligence, and attention to details and avoiding sloppiness.
    • In addition,competence, conscientiousengineering often requires creative problem solving and innovative thinking.

13. Conscientious

    • Conscientious engineers are loyal to their employers with boundaries of laws and democratic institutions.
    • Competition depends on engineers who are loyal to their organization.

14. Community & The Golden Mean

    • According to Aristot le, moral virtues as habits of reaching a proper balance between extremes in conduct, emotion, desire and attitude..
    • Virtues are the tendencies to find theGolden Meanbetween the extremes oftoo much(excess) andtoo little(deficiency)

15. Golden Mean

    • Truthfulnessis the appropriate middle ground (mean) betweenrevealing all information in violation of tact and confidentiality(excess) andbeing secretive of lacking in candor(deficiency)

16. Excess & Deficiency

    • Courageis the mean between foolhardiness (excess of rashness)
    • Cowardice(the deficiency of self control) in confronting dangers.

17. Golden Mean

    • The most important virtue ispractical wisdom , that is morally good judgment, which enables one to discern the mean for all the other virtues.

18. Community

    • Virtue enable us to pursue public goods in the community. Taken together , moral virtues also enable us to fulfill ourselves as human beings, they enable us to attain happiness.

19. Social Practice

    • Any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, and partially definitive, to that form of activity, with the result that human powers achieve excellence, and human conceptions of the end and goods involved, are systematically extended.

20. Internal Goods

    • Standard of excellence , and human progress.
    • It provides benefits to the community.
    • In engineering, abstractly stated, are safe and useful technological products.

21. Personal Goods

    • Goods that can be earned through engaging in a variety of practices.
    • Example: Money, Power, Prestige, Self-Esteem

22. Standard of Excellence

    • Enable internal goods to be achieved.
    • In Engineering, technical guidelines that specify state of the art quality.

23. Progress

    • Made possible trough social practices.

24. Think about it

    • Engineers have dramatically improved human life by developing internal combustion engines, computers, the Internet, and a host of consumer products.


    • End

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