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Cover

Fundamentals of Ethics for Scientists and Engineers

Edmund G. Seebauer and Robert L. Barry

Publication Date - June 2000

ISBN: 9780195134889

288 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $109.99

Description

Fundamentals of Ethics for Scientists and Engineers represents a new approach to introductory ethics that is both practical and accessible. Classical virtue theory is employed to provide a time-tested, simple, and easily remembered basis for ethical reasoning. The text is modularized for easy use in both stand-alone ethics courses and as self-contained units within engineering core courses. It is accompanied by an instructor's manual that includes a comprehensive set of sample lectures and course assignments, detailed homework solutions, and many helpful hints for teaching an ethics course.
To ground the ethical analysis in practical reality, each chapter contains a real-life case together with several fictional cases. The fictional cases breathe renewed vigor into the study of ethics by employing a new learning device: the "ethical serial." Each fictional case can be understood individually, but the cases are also unified by use of a single set of college-aged characters whose personalities are developed throughout the book. These characters mimic real people far more closely than those in other texts and act in situations that are directly familiar to students.
The book is composed of four units. The first two focus on ethical reasoning, outlining within the context of science and engineering the notions of character formation and intention central to virtue theory. To prepare students to handle complex ethical questions, these units extend virtue theory in a readily understandable way, accounting systematically for the consequences that follow an ethical decision. The second two units focus on practical issues such as intellectual property, conflict of interest, whistle blowing, and authorship in scientific publication. These units also treat more advanced topics like risk, resource allocation, conflicting ethical methods, and intuition in ethical decision making.

Table of Contents

    Preface
    UNIT ONE: FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES
    1. APPROACHING THE SUBJECT OF ETHICS
    An Example
    The Importance of Ethics in Science and Engineering
    Managing Ethical Discussion
    Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics
    The Existence of Right and Wrong
    Principle: Certain aspects of right and wrong exist objectively, independent of culture or personal opinion
    The Subject of Moral Analysis
    The Role of Codes of Ethics
    A Real-life Case: Destruction of the Spaceship Challengerr
    2. THE PERSON AND THE VIRTUES
    Developing a Model for the Person
    Components of the Psyche
    Limitations of the Model
    Habits and Morals
    The Four Main Virtues
    Principle: People should always decide and act according to the virtues insofar as possible
    An Example
    A Real-life Case; Toxic Waste at Love Canal
    3. ANALYZING EXTERIOR ACTS: SOME FIRST STEPS
    Ethics as a Craft
    Distinguishing Exterior and Interior Morality
    Beginning Case Analysis
    Event Trees
    A Real-life Case: Dow Corning Corp. and Breast Implants
    4. ANALYZING INTERIOR INTENTIONS: SOME FIRST STEPS
    Describing Intention
    The Importance of Intention
    Effort and the Virtues
    Principle: People should try insofar as possible to continue to progress in the moral life
    The Role of Benevolence
    A Real-life Case: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
    SUMMARY
    Some Words of Caution
    Note
    UNIT TWO: RESOLVING ETHICAL CONFLICTS
    5. TOWARD A HIERARCHY OF MORAL VALUES
    On Selecting Principles and Methods
    Hierarchies of Values: Moral and Nonmoral
    Line-drawing
    An Example
    Mathematical Analogies
    Ranking the Virtues
    A Real-life Case: Scientific Tests Using Animals
    6. STARTING MORAL JUDGMENTS: EVALUATING EXTERIOR ACTS
    A Mathematical Analogy
    An Example
    A Real-life Case: Chemical Disaster at Bhopal
    7. COMPLETING MORAL JUDGMENTS: THE DECISIVE ROLE OF INTENTION
    Evaluating Interior Goodness
    An Example
    Balancing Evaluations of Interior and Exterior Goodness
    The "Solomon Problem"
    Principle: The obligation to avoid what is bad outweighs the obligation to do what is good
    Cooperating in the Evil of Others
    A Real-life Case: The Problem of Performance Evaluation--Grade Inflation
    8. MORAL RESPONSIBILITY
    Factors Limiting Moral Responsibility
    Degrees of Responsibility
    An Example
    The "Sainthood" and "Devil" Problems
    A Real-life Case: Responsibility in Software Engineering
    SUMMARY
    Some Words of Caution
    UNIT THREE: JUSTICE: APPLICATIONS
    9. TRUTH: PERSON-TO-PERSON
    Truth in Actions
    Truth in Words
    Harm from Deception
    Harm from Withholding Truth
    Whistleblowing
    Harm from Spreading Truth
    Privacy
    A Real-lfe Case: Censorship of the Internet
    10. TRUTH: SOCIAL
    Distinctions between Science and Engineering
    Approach to Knowledge in Science
    Recognition from Scientific Publication
    Black and Gray in Scientific Practice
    Approach to Knowledge in Technology
    Intellectual Property
    A Real-life Case: Copying Music Illegally Using the Internet
    11. FAIRNESS: PERSON-TO-PERSON
    Conflict of Interest
    Qualitative versus Quantitative Fairness
    Credit or Blame in Team Projects
    Authorship Questions
    Fairness in Supervising
    Fairness in Contracting with Clients
    A Real-life Case: Problems with Peer Review
    12. FAIRNESS: SOCIAL
    Intellectual Property and the Society
    Environmental Issues
    Experts and Paternalism
    Social Aspects of Employment
    A Real-life Case: Environmental Cleanup--Problems with the Superfund
    SUMMARY
    Some Words of Caution
    UNIT FOUR: ADVANCED TOPICS
    13. RESOURCE ALLOCATION
    What is Resource Allocation?
    Allocation by Merit
    Allocation by Social Worth
    Allocation by Need
    Allocation by Ability to Pay
    Allocation by Equal or Random Assignment
    Allocation by Similarity
    How to Decide among Methods
    A Real-life Case: Ethical Issues in Affirmative Action
    14. RISK
    A Historical Perspective
    Defining Safety and Risk
    Evaluating Risk
    Making Decisions about Risk
    Some General Guidelines
    A Real-life Case: Experimental Drug Testing in Humans
    15. DEALING WITH DIFFERING ETHICAL SYSTEMS
    Differing Anthropologies
    Differing Principles and Methods
    Monism and Relativism
    Postmodernism
    True Pluralism
    Conclusion
    A Real-life Case: Geological Experiments in Sacred Mountains
    16. HABIT AND INTUITION
    Rationalist Approaches to Moral Action
    Advantages of Rationalist Approaches
    Problems with Rationalist Approaches
    Toward a More Comprehensive Approach to Moral Behavior
    A Real-life Case: The Ethics of Human Cloning
    Chapters 1-15 end with Notes and Problems
    Chapter 16 ends with Notes

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