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Engineering Ethics

PHL 207W

Engineering Ethics

PHL 207W

Course Description

Provides a foundation for the study and analysis of various ethical issues and dilemmas within the engineering profession. Develops analytical decision-making skills for resolving ethical conflicts. Studies topics such as ethical and legal standards, safety hazards, whistle blowing, disclosure of information, professionalism, enhancement of human welfare through engineering competence and individual ethics versus job security. (15-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Use a decision-making strategy to analyze ethical problems in the engineering profession.

Objectives:

  • Explain the various parts of the ethical decision-making strategy.
  • Demonstrate an analysis in which they know the strategy to reach a well-supported decision.
  • Discuss and assess ethical principles which are relevant to a decision, and apply them to ethical dilemmas and decision-making.

Choose and evaluate well-reasoned from poorly-reasoned ethical justifications.

Objectives:

  • Explain the limitations of using non-ethical reasons to justify violating ethical principles.
  • Distinguish descriptive statements about ethical values from value judgments using them.
  • Clarify the fallacies in misapplications of such ethical principles as the right to make a profit and the welfare of the public.

Apply legal, moral and ethical principles covered in the course to ethical problems within various engineering professions and situations, orally and in writing.

Objectives:

  • Identify when a principle or law is upheld by a given act and when it is violated.
  • Recognize and explain which principles or laws are upheld and violated given act or decision.
  • Describe the areas of common meaning among ethical or legal principles and the areas of difference among them.
  • Describe and clarify the practical, professional and ethical consequences of any given act or decision regarding an ethical dilemma within engineering.

Understand the reasoning, which supports the alternative sides of the major ethical and legal issues studied in the course.

Objectives:

  • Indicate and formulate the main arguments on both sides of the issues studied.
  • Recognize and construct the strengths and weaknesses of the main arguments.
  • Assess the degree of support, which relevant ethical principles provide for main positions on the issues studied.

Evaluate and formulate arguments to support positions on different sides of ethical issues in engineering.

Objectives:

  • Know models of critical analysis by studying some of the major pro and con arguments and their main weaknesses.
  • Investigate, identify and explain examples of ethical arguments.
  • Formulate original arguments to support their viewpoints on ethical issues and defend them against objections, both verbally and in writing.

Clarify, distinguish, apply and evaluate the use of basic vocabulary, regarding moral theories, ethical principles, codes of ethics, and concepts essential to resolving ethical dilemmas and issues within the discipline of engineering ethics, orally and in writing.

Objectives:

  • Define, understand and master the terminology of ethics.
  • Distinguish appropriate from inappropriate uses of terms.
  • Identify cases to which the concepts apply and assess the degree to which they apply.
  • Use the terminology to strengthen analyses of ethical issues and dilemmas.

Recognize moral and ethical issues and dilemmas within the engineering profession.

Objectives:

  • Identify and explain the differences between a legal, psychological and ethical issue and dilemma.
  • Describe the ethical dilemmas and moral issues within case-study scenarios.