On “bettering humanity” in science and engineering education

Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (2):265-273 (2007)
Authors such as Krishnasamy Selvan argue that “all human endeavors including engineering and science” have a single primary objective: “bettering humanity.” They favor discussing “the history of science and measurement uncertainty.” This paper respectfully disagrees and argues that “human endeavors including engineering and science” should not pursue “bettering humanity” as their primary objective. Instead these efforts should first pursue individual betterment. One cannot better humanity without knowing what that means. However, there is no one unified theory of what is to the betterment of humanity. Simultaneously, there is no one field (neither science, nor engineering, nor philosophy) entitled to rule univocally. Perhaps if theorists tended their own gardens, the common weal would be tended thereby.
Keywords Altruism  Bettering humanity  Egoism  Ethics  Engineering education  Science education
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Immanuel Kant (2007/1991). Critique of Pure Reason. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd.. 449-451.
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