Why Should Ethical Behaviors Be the Ultimate Goal of Engineering Ethics Education?

Business and Professional Ethics Journal 42 (1):33-53 (2023)
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Abstract

Ethics is crucial to engineering, although disagreement exists concerning the form engineering ethics education should take. In part, this results from disagreements about the goal of this education, which inhibit the development of and progress in cohesive research agendas and practices. In this regard, engineering ethics faces challenges like other professional ethics. To address these issues, this paper argues that the ultimate goal of engineering ethics education should be more long-term ethical behaviors, but that engineering ethics must more fully engage with the fields of empirical moral and cultural psychology to do so. It begins by considering reasons for adopting ethical behaviors as the ultimate goal of ethics education, and moves on to discuss why ethical behaviors have not been adopted as the goal of ethics education. The paper ends by considering responses to these problems, why ethical behaviors should still be adopted as the ultimate goal of ethics education.

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Rockwell Clancy
Virginia Tech
Qin Zhu
Virginia Tech

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