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Michael Davis
Illinois Institute of Technology
Michael Davis
State University of New York at Buffalo
M. J. Davis
Universidad de Los Andes
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  1. Thinking Like an Engineer: Studies in the Ethics of a Profession.Michael Davis - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Michael Davis, a leading figure in the study of professional ethics, offers here both a compelling exploration of engineering ethics and a philosophical analysis of engineering as a profession. After putting engineering in historical perspective, Davis turns to the Challenger space shuttle disaster to consider the complex relationship between engineering ideals and contemporary engineering practice. Here, Davis examines how social organization and technical requirements define how engineers should (and presumably do) think. Later chapters test his analysis of engineering judgement and (...)
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  2.  67
    “Ain’T No One Here But Us Social Forces”: Constructing the Professional Responsibility of Engineers. [REVIEW]Michael Davis - 2012 - Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):13-34.
    There are many ways to avoid responsibility, for example, explaining what happens as the work of the gods, fate, society, or the system. For engineers, “technology” or “the organization” will serve this purpose quite well. We may distinguish at least nine (related) senses of “responsibility”, the most important of which are: (a) responsibility-as-causation (the storm is responsible for flooding), (b) responsibility-as-liability (he is the person responsible and will have to pay), (c) responsibility-as-competency (he’s a responsible person, that is, he’s rational), (...)
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  3.  71
    Imaginary Cases in Ethics: A Critique.Michael Davis - 2012 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (1):1-17.
    By “case,” I mean a proxy for some state of affairs, event, sequence of events, or other fact. A case may be as short as a phrase or longer than War and Peace. A case may consist of words or have a more dramatic form, such as a movie, stage performance, or computer simulation. Imaginary cases plainly have an important role in contemporary ethics, especially in applied or practical ethics. This paper is a systematic critique of imaginary cases in ethics. (...)
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  4. Conflict of Interest in the Professions.Michael Davis & Andrew Stark (eds.) - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Conflicts of interest pose special problems for the professions. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest can undermine essential trust between professional and public. This volume is a comprehensive and accessible guide to the ramifications and problems associated with important issue. It contains fifteen new essays by noted scholars and covers topics in law, medicine, journalism, engineering, financial services, and others.
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  5.  25
    Engineering Ethics in China.Hengli Zhang & Michael Davis - 2018 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 37 (1):105-135.
    This article describes China’s century-long concern with the professional ethics of engineers, especially a succession of codes of engineering ethics going back at least to 1933. This description is the result both of our own archival research and of “philosophical history”, the application of concepts from the philosophy of professions to the facts historians have discovered. Engineers, historians, social scientists, and philosophers of technology, as well as students of professional ethics, should find this description interesting. It certainly provides a reason (...)
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  6.  58
    Integrating Ethics Into Technical Courses: Micro-Insertion. [REVIEW]Michael Davis - 2006 - Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (4):717-730.
    Perhaps the most common reason science and engineering faculty give for not including “ethics” (that is, research ethics, engineering ethics, or some discussion of professional responsibility) in their technical classes is that “there is no room”. This article 1) describes a technique (“micro-insertion”) that introduces ethics (and related topics) into technical courses in small enough units not to push out technical material, 2) explains where this technique might fit into the larger undertaking of integrating ethics into the technical (scientific or (...)
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  7. Thinking Like an Engineer: The Place of a Code of Ethics in the Practice of a Profession.Michael Davis - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (2):150-167.
  8.  15
    Engineering Ethics in China in Advance.Hengli Zhang & Michael Davis - forthcoming - Business and Professional Ethics Journal.
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  9.  37
    Ethics and the University.Michael Davis - 1999 - Routledge.
    _Ethics and the University_ brings together two closely related topics, the practice of ethics in the university and the teaching of practical or applied ethics in the university. This volume is divided into four parts: * A survey of practical ethics, offering an explanation of its recent emergence as a university subject, situating that subject into a wider social and historical context and identifying some problems that the subject generates for universities * An examination of research ethics, including the problem (...)
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  10.  35
    A Plea for Judgment.Michael Davis - 2012 - Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (4):789-808.
    Judgment is central to engineering, medicine, the sciences and many other practical activities. For example, one who otherwise knows what engineers know but lacks engineering judgment may be an expert of sorts, a handy resource much like a reference book or database, but cannot be a competent engineer. Though often overlooked or at least passed over in silence, the central place of judgment in engineering, the sciences, and the like should be obvious once pointed out. It is important here because (...)
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  11.  37
    Locke, Simmons, and Consent.Michael Davis - 2017 - Social Theory and Practice 43 (4):667-690.
    This paper is primarily a response to John Simmons’s critique of Locke’s consent theory of political obligation. It seeks to apply ordinary legal reasoning to what Locke actually says about “express consent” and “tacit consent.” The result is a theory both different from the theory commonly attributed to Locke and more plausible. Among the differences is that express consent is understood to arise chiefly from seeking to vote and tacit consent is understood as a reasonable presumption of actual consent. In (...)
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  12.  11
    Locke, Simmons, and Consent in Advance.Michael Davis - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
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  13. The Moral Justifiability of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment.Michael Davis - 2005 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):161-178.
    Since Henry Shue’s classic 1978 paper on torture, the “ticking-bomb case” has seemed to demonstrate that torture is morally justified in some moral emergencies (even if not as an institution). After presenting an analysis of torture as such and an explanation of why it, and anything much like it, is morally wrong, I argue that the ticking-bomb case demonstrates nothing at all—for at least three reasons. First, it is an appeal to intuition. The intuition is not as widely shared as (...)
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  14. “Global Engineering Ethics”: Re-Inventing the Wheel?Michael Davis - 2015 - In Eyad Masad, Jr Harris, Hassan Bashir, Paolo Gardoni & Colleen Murphy (eds.), Engineering Ethics for a Globalized World. Springer Verlag.
     
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  15.  50
    Is Engineering a Profession Everywhere?Michael Davis - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (2):211-225.
    Though this paper is mostly about a sense of “profession” common in much of the West, it explains how the term might apply in any country (especially how the profession of engineering differs from the function, discipline, and occupation of engineering). To do that, I have to explain the connection between “profession” (in my preferred sense) and another hard-to-translate term, “code of ethics” (in the sense it has in the expression “code of engineering ethics”). To understand engineering (or any other (...)
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  16.  86
    Punishment Theory’s Golden Half Century: A Survey of Developments From 1957 to 2007. [REVIEW]Michael Davis - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 13 (1):73 - 100.
    This paper describes developments in punishment theory since the middle of the twentieth century. After the mid–1960s, what Stanley I. Benn called “preventive theories of punishment”—whether strictly utilitarian or more loosely consequentialist like his—entered a long and steep decline, beginning with the virtual disappearance of reform theory in the 1970s. Crowding out preventive theories were various alternatives generally (but, as I shall argue, misleadingly) categorized as “retributive”. These alternatives include both old theories (such as the education theory) resurrected after many (...)
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  17.  28
    “Broader Impacts” or “Responsible Research and Innovation”? A Comparison of Two Criteria for Funding Research in Science and Engineering.Michael Davis & Kelly Laas - 2014 - Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (4):963-983.
    Our subject is how the experience of Americans with a certain funding criterion, “broader impacts” may help in efforts to turn the European concept of Responsible Research and Innovation into a useful guide to funding Europe’s scientific and technical research. We believe this comparison may also be as enlightening for Americans concerned with revising research policy. We have organized our report around René Von Schomberg’s definition of RRI, since it seems both to cover what the European research group to which (...)
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  18.  12
    Proving That China has a Profession of Engineering: A Case Study in Operationalizing a Concept Across a Cultural Divide.Hengli Zhang & Michael Davis - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (6):1581-1596.
    This article assumes that a profession is a number of individuals in the same occupation voluntarily organized to earn a living by openly serving a moral ideal in a morally-permissible way beyond what law, market, morality, and public opinion would otherwise require. Our question is whether the concept of profession may have a far wider range than the term, so that, for example, pointing out that a certain language lacks a word for “profession” in our sense, is not enough to (...)
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  19.  58
    The Professional Approach to Engineering Ethics: Five Research Questions.Michael Davis - 2001 - Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (3):379-390.
    This paper argues that research for engineering ethics should routinely involve philosophers, social scientists, and engineers, and should focus for now on certain basic questions such as: Who is an engineer? What is engineering? What do engineers do? How do they make decisions? And how much control do they actually have over what they do?
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  20. How to Make the Punishment Fit the Crime.Michael Davis - 1982 - Ethics 93 (4):726-752.
  21.  6
    Reciprocity.Michael Davis & Lawrence C. Becker - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):432.
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  22. Eighteen Rules for Writing a Code of Professional Ethics.Michael Davis - 2007 - Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (2):171-189.
    Most professional societies, scientific associations, and the like that undertake to write a code of ethics do so using other codes as models but without much (practical) guidance about how to do the work. The existing literature on codes is much more concerned with content than procedure. This paper adds to guidance already in the literature what I learned from participating in the writing of an important code of ethics. The guidance is given in the form of “rules” each of (...)
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  23.  10
    Terrorists Are Just Patients.Michael Davis - 2009 - American Journal of Bioethics 9 (10):56-57.
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  24. What Can We Learn by Looking for the First Code of Professional Ethics?Michael Davis - 2003 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 24 (5):433-454.
    The first code of professional ethics must: (1)be a code of ethics; (2) apply to members of a profession; (3) apply to allmembers of that profession; and (4) apply only to members of that profession. The value of these criteria depends on how we define “code”, “ethics”, and “profession”, terms the literature on professions has defined in many ways. This paper applies one set of definitions of “code”, “ethics”, and “profession” to a part of what we now know of the (...)
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  25. Some Paradoxes of Whistleblowing.Michael Davis - 1996 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 15 (1):3-19.
  26.  49
    Curricular Design And Assessment In Professional Ethics Education: Some Practical Advice.Matthew W. Keefer & Michael Davis - 2012 - Teaching Ethics 13 (1):81-90.
  27.  63
    Ethics, Finance, and Automation: A Preliminary Survey of Problems in High Frequency Trading. [REVIEW]Michael Davis, Andrew Kumiega & Ben Van Vliet - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (3):851-874.
    All of finance is now automated, most notably high frequency trading. This paper examines the ethical implications of this fact. As automation is an interdisciplinary endeavor, we argue that the interfaces between the respective disciplines can lead to conflicting ethical perspectives; we also argue that existing disciplinary standards do not pay enough attention to the ethical problems automation generates. Conflicting perspectives undermine the protection those who rely on trading should have. Ethics in finance can be expanded to include organizational and (...)
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  28.  17
    Punishment Theory’s Golden Half Century: A Survey of Developments From 1957 to 2007.Michael Davis - 2008 - Journal of Ethics 13 (1):73-100.
    This paper describes developments in punishment theory since the middle of the twentieth century. After the mid-1960s, what Stanley I. Benn called "preventive theories of punishment"—whether strictly utilitarian or more loosely consequentialist like his—entered a long and steep decline, beginning with the virtual disappearance of reform theory in the 1970s. Crowding out preventive theories were various alternatives generally categorized as "retributive". These alternatives include both old theories resurrected after many decades in philosophy's graveyard and some new ones. Only in the (...)
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  29.  32
    Assessing Graduate Student Progress in Engineering Ethics.Michael Davis & Alan Feinerman - 2012 - Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (2):351-367.
    Under a grant from the National Science Foundation, the authors (and others) undertook to integrate ethics into graduate engineering classes at three universities—and to assess success in a way allowing comparison across classes (and institutions). This paper describes the attempt to carry out that assessment. Standard methods of assessment turned out to demand too much class time. Under pressure from instructors, the authors developed an alternative method that is both specific in content to individual classes and allows comparison across classes. (...)
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  30.  74
    The Usefulness of Moral Theory in Teaching Practical Ethics: A Reply to Gert and Harris.Michael Davis - 2011 - Teaching Ethics 12 (1):51-60.
  31.  45
    Ethics, Finance, and Automation: A Preliminary Survey of Problems in High Frequency Trading. [REVIEW]Michael Davis, Andrew Kumiega & Ben Vliet - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (3):851-874.
    All of finance is now automated, most notably high frequency trading. This paper examines the ethical implications of this fact. As automation is an interdisciplinary endeavor, we argue that the interfaces between the respective disciplines can lead to conflicting ethical perspectives; we also argue that existing disciplinary standards do not pay enough attention to the ethical problems automation generates. Conflicting perspectives undermine the protection those who rely on trading should have. Ethics in finance can be expanded to include organizational and (...)
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  32.  41
    Engineering Ethics: Looking Back, Looking Forward.Richard A. Burgess, Michael Davis, Marilyn A. Dyrud, Joseph R. Herkert, Rachelle D. Hollander, Lisa Newton, Michael S. Pritchard & P. Aarne Vesilind - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (3):1395-1404.
    The eight pieces constituting this Meeting Report are summaries of presentations made during a panel session at the 2011 Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) annual meeting held between March 3rd and 6th in Cincinnati. Lisa Newton organized the session and served as chair. The panel of eight consisted both of pioneers in the field and more recent arrivals. It covered a range of topics from how the field has developed to where it should be going, from identification of (...)
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  33.  37
    Engineering Ethics, Individuals, and Organizations.Michael Davis - 2006 - Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (2):223-231.
    This article evaluates a family of criticism of how engineering ethics is now generally taught. The short version of the criticism might be put this way: Teachers of engineering ethics devote too much time to individual decisions and not enough time to social context. There are at least six version of this criticism, each corresponding to a specific subject omitted. Teachers of engineering ethics do not (it is said) teach enough about: 1) the culture of organizations; 2) the organization of (...)
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  34.  5
    Why Punish?Michael Davis - 1991
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  35.  57
    Professional Responsibility: Just Following the Rules?Michael Davis - 1999 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 18 (1):65-87.
  36.  91
    Plato and Nietzsche on Death: An Introduction to Plato’s Phaedo.Michael Davis - 1980 - Ancient Philosophy 1 (1):69-80.
  37. An Historical Preface to Engineering Ethics.Michael Davis - 1995 - Science and Engineering Ethics 1 (1):33-48.
    This article attempts to distinguish between science and technology, on the one hand, and engineering, on the other, offering a brief introduction to engineering values and engineering ethics. The method is (roughly) a philosophical examination of history. Engineering turns out to be a relatively recent enterprise, barely three hundred years old, to have distinctive commitments both technical and moral, and to have changed a good deal both technically and morally during that period. What motivates the paper is the belief that (...)
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  38.  71
    Rewarding Whistleblowers: A Conceptual Problem?Michael Davis - 2012 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):269-277.
    Since 2010, Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act has required the Securities and Exchange Commission to give a significant financial reward to any whistleblower who voluntarily discloses original information concerning fraud or other unlawful activity. How, if at all, might such “incentives” change our understanding of whistleblowing? My answer is that, while incentives should not change the definition of whistleblowing, it should change our understanding of the justification of whistleblowing. We need to distinguish the public justification of whistleblowing, its public (...)
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  39.  35
    Better Communication Between Engineers and Managers: Some Ways to Prevent Many Ethically Hard Choices.Michael Davis - 1997 - Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (2):171-212.
    This article is concerned with ways better communication between engineers and their managers might help prevent engineers being faced with some of the ethical problems that make up the typical course in engineering ethics. Beginning with observations concerning the Challenger disaster, the article moves on to report results of empirical research on the way technical communication breaks down, or doesn’t break down, between engineers and managers. The article concludes with nine recommendations for organizational change to help prevent communications breakdown.
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  40.  67
    Conflict of Interest.Michael Davis - 1982 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 1 (4):17-27.
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  41.  26
    The Least Worst Death: Essays in Bioethics on the End of Life.AIDS: Crisis in Professional Ethics.Human Reproduction: Principles, Practices, Policies.Margaret Pabst Battin, Elliott D. Cohen, Michael Davis & Christine Overall - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 45 (181):545-550.
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  42.  29
    Why Punish?Michael Davis - 1993 - Law and Philosophy 12 (4):395-405.
  43. The Soul of the Greeks: An Inquiry.Michael Davis - 2011 - University of Chicago Press.
    The understanding of the soul in the West has been profoundly shaped by Christianity, and its influence can be seen in certain assumptions often made about the soul: that, for example, if it does exist, it is separable from the body, free, immortal, and potentially pure. The ancient Greeks, however, conceived of the soul quite differently. In this ambitious new work, Michael Davis analyzes works by Homer, Herodotus, Euripides, Plato, and Aristotle to reveal how the ancient Greeks portrayed and understood (...)
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  44.  67
    Developing and Using Cases to Teach Practical Ethics.Michael Davis - 1997 - Teaching Philosophy 20 (4):353-385.
    While there is much extant literature on “case method” pedagogy as practiced in law and business education, there is little written on its use in teaching practical ethics. After relating the history and nature of the case method in law, business, and philosophy, the author offers guidance on how to develop and use philosophy cases, focusing on lesson plans for their presentation, their purpose within the practical ethics curriculum, and how to write and grade course requirements involving them. Much more (...)
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  45.  31
    Twenty-Five Years of Ethics Across the Curriculum.Michael Davis, Elisabeth Hildt & Kelly Laas - 2016 - Teaching Ethics 16 (1):55-74.
  46.  90
    Locke (and Hobbes) on “Property” in the State of Nature.Michael Davis - 2013 - International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):271-287.
    Anyone reading the second of Two Treatises of Government after Leviathan must notice how much more civil Locke’s state of nature is in comparison to Hobbes’s. Many readers may also notice how much space the Second Treatise gives the subject of property. While Hobbes has only a few scattered sentences on property, Locke has the famous chapter five, which constitutes about a tenth of the whole Second Treatise. Private property in the state of nature seems to be what protects Locke’s (...)
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  47.  36
    Defining Engineering From Chicago to Shantou.Michael Davis - 2009 - The Monist 92 (3):325-338.
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  48.  35
    Five Kinds of Ethics Across the Curriculum: An Introduction to Four Experiments with One Kind.Michael Davis - 2004 - Teaching Ethics 4 (2):1-14.
  49. Strasser on Dependence, Reliance, and Need.Michael Davis - 1986 - Philosophical Quarterly 36 (144):384-391.
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  50.  61
    Ethics Across the Graduate Engineering Curriculum: An Experiment in Teaching and Assessment.Michael Davis & Kathryn Riley - 2008 - Teaching Ethics 9 (1):25-42.
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