David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (3):363-376 (2003)
Discovering obligations that are ascribed to them by others is potentially an important element in the development of the moral imagination of engineers. Moral imagination cannot reasonably be developed by contemplating oneself and one’s task alone: there must be some element of discovering the expectations of people one could put at risk. In practice it may be impossible to meet ascribed obligations if they are completely general and allow no exceptions — for example if they demand an unlimited duty to avoid harm. But they can still serve to modify engineers’ prior ethics, for example by limiting a purely utilitarian approach to deciding who should bear risk and how much risk they should bear. Ascribed obligations can also give engineers insight into the public reaction to risks that arise from engineered systems, and the consequent expectations that the public have about how much protection is desirable and where the responsibility for this protection lies. This article analyses the case for taking ascribed obligations seriously, and reviews some of the obligations that have been ascribed in the aftermath of recent engineering failures. It also proposes ways in which ascribed obligations could be used in engineers’ moral development.
|Keywords||ascribed ethics risk engineering moral imagination|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jon Alan Schmidt (2013). Changing the Paradigm for Engineering Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics:1-26.
Justin Smith, Paolo Gardoni & Colleen Murphy (2013). The Responsibilities of Engineers. Science and Engineering Ethics:1-20.
Similar books and articles
Dan C. English (2005). Moral Obligations of Patients: A Clinical View. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (2):139 – 152.
Thomas Fisher (2009). Ethics for Architects: 50 Dilemmas of Professional Practice. Princeton Architectural Press.
Sabine Roeser (2012). Emotional Engineers: Toward Morally Responsible Design. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):103-115.
Mark Coeckelbergh & Ger Wackers (2007). Imagination, Distributed Responsibility and Vulnerable Technological Systems: The Case of Snorre A. Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (2):235-248.
A. John Simmons (1996). Associative Political Obligations. Ethics 106 (2):247-273.
Joshua Kassner (2009). Completing the Incomplete: A Defense of Positive Obligations to Distant Others. Journal of Global Ethics 5 (3):181 – 193.
Sadeq Larijani (2007). Rational and Moral Obligations. Topoi 26 (2):231-245.
Jerry W. Gravander (1980). The Origin and Implications of Engineers' Obligations to the Public Welfare. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:443 - 455.
P. Aarne Vesilind (1998). Engineering, Ethics, and the Environment. Cambridge University Press.
Bill Wringe (2010). Global Obligations and the Agency Objection. Ratio 23 (2):217-231.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #198,532 of 1,088,624 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?