Even after multiple cycles of ABET accreditation, many engineering programs are unsure of how much curriculum content is needed to meet the requirements of ABET’s Criterion 3.f (an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility). This study represents the first scholarly attempt to assess the impact of curriculum reform following the introduction of ABET Criterion 3.f. This study sought to determine how much professional and ethical responsibility curriculum content was used between 1995 and 2005, as well as how, when, why, and (...) to what effect changes in the amount of content occurred. Subsequently, the study sought to evaluate if different amounts of curriculum content generated differing student outcomes. The amount of curriculum content used by each of the participating programs was identified during semi-structured interviews with program administrators and a review of ABET Self-Study documents. Quantitative methods were applied to determine if a relationship existed between the curriculum content and performance on a nationally administered, engineering-specific standardized examination. The findings indicate a statistical relationship, but a lack of structure between the amount of required content in the curriculum and performance on the examination. Additional findings were also generated regarding the way that programs interpret the Criterion 3.f feedback generated during accreditation visits. The primary impact of this study is that it dispels the myth that more courses or course time on professionalism and ethics will necessarily lead to positive engineering education outcomes. Much of the impetus to add more curriculum content results from a lack of conclusive feedback during ABET accreditation visits. (shrink)
It is widely believed that, if human behaviour is subject to universal causation, people cannot be responsible for their actions. However, the excuses that are normally accepted do not invoke causation, so they would still be limited in scope even if all action had causal antecedents. Diminished responsibility due to (temporary or permanent) mental defect does involve reference to causation, but not to the fact of causation — rather, to the kind of causation. Again, therefore, universal causation does not threatenresponsibility (...) in the cases in which we currently hold people responsible. Nevertheless, the fact that human beings are not radically self-determining does have implications.For it means that people cannot be held responsible for not doing things that are beyond their powers. If we combine this with the ethical principle that people should not suffer as a result of things for which they are not responsible, we can derive the conclusion that many existing inequalities cannot be justified. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
Perhaps the most remarkable event in social thought of the last twenty years has been the resurgence of various strands of individualism as political doctrines. The term ‘individualism’ is a kind of general rubric that encompasses elements of nineteenth century classical liberalism, laissez-faire economics, the theory of the minimal state, and an extreme mutation out of this intellectual gene pool, anarcho-capitalism. The term libertarianism itself is applied indiscriminately to all of those doctrines. It has no precise meaning, except that in (...) a general sort of way libertarianism describes a more rigorous commitment to moral and economic individualism and a more ideological approach to social affairs than conventional liberalism. I suspect that its current usage largely reflects the fact that the word with the better historical pedigree, liberalism, has been associated, in America especially, with economic doctrines that are alien to the individualist tradition. (shrink)
Despite the emphasis on the state in the history of political philosophy, the twentieth century has been characterized by a remarkable lack of philosophical reflection on the concept. Until recently analytical philosophy had eschewed those evaluative arguments about political obligation and the limits of state authority that were typical of political theory in the past in favour of the explication of the meaning of the concept. However, even here the results have been disappointing. Logical Positivist attempts to locate some unique (...) empirical phenomenon which the word state described proved unsuccessful, and indeed led to the odd conclusion that there was nothing about the state that distinguished it from some other social institutions. For example, its coercive power was said to be not unique: in some circumstances trade unions and Churches exercised similar power over their members. Ordinary language philosophers were far more interested in the complexities that surround words such as law, authority and power than in the state. In all this there was perhaps the fear that to concentrate attention on the state was implicitly to give credence to the discredited doctrine that it stood for some metaphysical entity; propositions about which could not be translated into propositions about the actions of individuals , and which represented higher values than those of ordinary human agents. (shrink)
Se examina si las políticas de la diferencia son compatibles con las políticas de redistribución que caracterizan el Estado de Bienestar. Se muestra cómo Brian Barry construye una versión caricaturizada del multiculturalismo, y se indaga si la dicotomía entre liberalismo y multiculturalismo admite a..
In The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour [Stroud, 2000], Barry Stroud carries out an ambitious attack on various forms of irrealism and subjectivism about color. The views he targets - those that would deny a place in objective reality to the colors - have a venerable history in philosophy. Versions of them have been defended by Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Locke, and Hume; more recently, forms of these positions have been articulated by Williams, Smart, Mackie, Ryle, (...) and Hardin, among others. Stroud's aim is to argue not only that these writers fail to make their cases, but that no conceivable argument could ever convince us that colors are not a part of objective reality. (shrink)
When does a human being begin to exist? Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard have argued that it is possible, through a combination of biological fact and philosophical analysis, to provide a definitive answer to this question. In their view, a human individual begins to exist at gastrulation, i. e. at about sixteen days after fertilization. In this paper we argue that even granting Smith and Brogaard's ontological commitments and biological assumptions, the existence of a human being can be shown (...) to begin much earlier, viz., with fertilization. Their interpretative claim that a zygote divides immediately into two substances and therefore ceases to exist is highly implausible by their own standards, and their factual claim that there is no communication between the blastomeres has to be abandoned in light of recent embryological research. (shrink)