skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1737157

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. This paper explores how the relationship between ethics and engineering has been and could be framed. Specifically, two distinct framings will be conceptualized and explored: ethics in engineering and engineering in ethics. As with other disciplines, engineering typically subsumes ethics, appropriating it as its own unique subfield. As a framing, ethics in engineering produces specialized standards, codes, values, perspectives, and problems distinct to engineering thought and practice. These form an engineering education discourse with which engineers engage. It is epistemological in its focus, meaning that this framing constructs knowledge of proper disciplinary conduct. On the other hand, engineering in ethics as a framing device insists that engineering become a specialized articulation of ethical thought and action. Here, “engineer” and “engineering” are not nouns but verbs, referring to particular processes and technologies for transformation. One is not an “engineer;” rather, one “engineers.” One is first an ethical subject – an historical aggregate of continuous experiences/becomings – concerned with the pursuit of “the good” in the present; then, when contextually relevant, such a subject’s engineering knowledge and skills may be employed as powerful means for the becoming-good of shared worlds. In this paper, engineering in ethics is further conceptualized through a playfulmore »intermingling of an ethic of care, via the scholarship of Joan Tronto, and a Deweyian approach to ethical inquiry. Tronto’s four elements of care – attentiveness, responsibility, competence, and responsiveness – are joined with what are arguably four key components of Dewey’s process of ethical inquiry: awareness, judgment, experimentation, and iteration. This paper argues that 1) being attentive is required to achieve awareness of a given need or problem, 2) taking responsibility is a necessary practice for making and acting on one’s judgements related to the need at hand, 3) competence in a relevant skill is needed to experiment with one’s judgements, and 4) careful consideration of how others respond to how one has addressed a need is essential for the purposes of iteration. While all four contribute to the notion of engineering in ethics, the relationship between competence and experimentation is where engineering is most evidently seized as an ethical expression. How one competently wields engineering knowledge and skillfully performs disciplinary techniques is, here, foremost about actively inquiring into how to provide care for a specific need and, in doing so, creating a world aligned with one’s vision of “the good.” This paper will close with a brief consideration of the educational implications of engineering in ethics.« less
  2. Ethical becoming represents a novel framework for teaching engineering ethics. This framework insists on the complementarity of pragmatism, care, and virtue. The dispositional nature of the self is a central concern, as are relational considerations. However, unlike previous conceptual work, this paper introduces additional lenses for exploring ethical relationality by focusing on indebtedness, harmony, potency, and reflective thought. This paper first reviews relevant contributions in the engineering ethics literature. Then, the relational process ontology of Alfred North Whitehead is described and identified as the foundation of the ethical becoming concept. Following this, ethical becoming is imagined as comprising five components: relationality and indebtedness, harmony and potency (i.e., beauty), care, freedom and reflective thought, and ethical inquiry. Each component will be unpacked and knit together to argue that (1) becoming in all its forms is relational and, therefore, whatever becomes is indebted to all to which it relates; (2) one’s ethical engagement must be directed toward the creation of harmony and potency; (3) care practices are necessary to ensure that multiplicity is valued and safeguarded in the meeting of needs; (4) the capacity for reflective thought is necessary to fashion one’s self and others in the direction of harmony, potency, andmore »care; and (5) ethical thought and action must operate through a cycle of ethical inquiry. This paper will close with a brief exploration of how ethical becoming could be utilized in engineering education contexts.« less