Towards emergent ethical action and the culture of engineering

Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (3):377-387 (2003)
With the advent of the newest technologies, it is necessary for engineering to incorporate the integration of social responsibility and technical integrity. A possible approach to accomplishing this integration is by expanding the culture of the engineering profession so that it is more congruent with the complex nature of the technologies that are now being developed. Furthermore, in order to achieve this expansion, a shift in thinking is required from a linear or reductionist paradigm (atomistic, deterministic and dualistic) to a nonlinear paradigm (holistic, chaotic and subjective). Three aspects of such a nonlinear paradigm (holism, transparency and responsiveness) enable an engineer to shift from “applying ethics” to “being ethical”. This culture change can be a basis for developing new curricula to satisfy the ABET-2000 requirements as well as for the practice of engineering in the 21st Century.
Keywords ethics  engineering  technology  society  and environment
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