David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Techne 10 (1):30-44 (2006)
One of the most important tasks of engineering ethics is to give engineers the tools required to act ethically to prevent possible disastrous accidents which could result from engineers’ decisions and actions. The space shuttle Challenger disaster is referred to as a typical case in almost every textbook. This case is seen as one from which engineers can learn important lessons, as it shows impressively how engineers should act as professionals, to prevent accidents. The Columbia disaster came seventeen years later in 2003. According to the report of the Columbia accident investigation board, the main cause of the accident was not individual actions which violated certain safety rules but rather was to be found in the history and culture of NASA. A culture is seen as one which desensitizedmanagers and engineers to potential hazards as they dealt with problems of uncertainty. This view of the disaster is based on Dian Vaughan’s analysis of the Challenger disaster, where inherent organizational factors and culture within NASA had been highlighted as contributing to the disaster. Based on the insightful analysis of the Columbia report and the work of Diane Vaughan, we search for an alternative view of engineering ethics. We focus on the inherent uncertainty of engineers’ work with respect to hazard precaution. We discuss claims that the concept of professional responsibility, which plays a central role in orthodox engineering ethics, is too narrow and that we need a broader and more fundamental concept of responsibility. Responsibility which should be attributed to every person related to an organization and therefore given the range of responsible persons, governments, managers, engineers, etc. might be called “civic virtue”. Only on the basis of this broad concept of responsibility of civic virtue, we can find a possible way to prevent disasters and reduce the hazards that seem to be inseparable part of the use of complex technological systems
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Patricia H. Werhane (1991). Engineers and Management: The Challenge of the Challenger Incident. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 10 (8):605 - 616.
Michael Davis (1997). Better Communication Between Engineers and Managers. Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (2):171-212.
Michael Davis (1998). Thinking Like an Engineer: Studies in the Ethics of a Profession. Oxford University Press.
Russell P. Boisjoly, Ellen Foster Curtis & Eugene Mellican (1989). Roger Boisjoly and the Challenger Disaster: The Ethical Dimensions. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 8 (4):217 - 230.
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.
Michael Davis (2012). “Ain't No One Here But Us Social Forces”: Constructing the Professional Responsibility of Engineers. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):13-34.
P. Aarne Vesilind (1998). Engineering, Ethics, and the Environment. Cambridge University Press.
Harry Hummels (1999). Ethical Challenges in a Technological Environment: The Perspective of Engineers Versus Managers. Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (1):55-72.
Carl Mitcham (1998). The Importance of Philosophy to Engineering. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):27-47.
Josep M. Basart & Montse Serra (2013). Engineering Ethics Beyond Engineers' Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):179-187.
Steven P. Nichols (1997). Professional Responsibility: The Role of the Engineer in Society. Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (3):327-337.
Armin Grunwald (2001). The Application of Ethics to Engineering and the Engineer's Moral Responsibility: Perspectives for a Research Agenda. Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (3):415-428.
Rosa Lynn B. Pinkus (ed.) (1997). Engineering Ethics: Balancing Cost, Schedule, and Risk--Lessons Learned From the Space Shuttle. Cambridge University Press.
D. Holemans & H. Lodewyckx (1996). A Case Study of Conflicting Interests: Flemish Engineers Involved in Environmental Impact Assessment. Science and Engineering Ethics 2 (1):17-24.
Jameson M. Wetmore (2008). Engineering with Uncertainty: Monitoring Air Bag Performance. Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (2):201-218.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads6 ( #378,120 of 1,780,586 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #291,765 of 1,780,586 )
How can I increase my downloads?