Brief_Introduction_to_the_Engineering_Ethics

Brief_Introduction_to_the_Engineering_Ethics - Brief...

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Brief Introduction to the Engineering Ethics Raymond Rakhshani, PhD Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering Viterbi School of engineering Cases from The National Science Foundation
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Agenda b The Professional Challenge b Factual, Conceptual, and Moral Issues b Some Famous Cases b Definition of Some Important Terms b A story b Questions? Professional Challenge
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The Professional Challenge b Engineering ethics is attracting increasing interest in colleges of engineering throughout the world. b The increasing concern for the value dimension of engineering, at least in part, is a result of the attention that the media has given to cases such as the Challenger disaster, the Kansas City Hyatt- Regency Hotel walkways collapse, and the Exxon/Mobil and BP oil spills. b This discipline will doubtless take its place alongside such well-established fields as medical ethics , business ethics , and legal ethics . Introduction
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Introduction b As with any other higher-order intellectual activity, resolving ethical/moral problems requires that we be both analytical and imaginative. In the analytical mode, we sort out the component parts of ethical problems . This activity helps us in knowing what kinds of solutions are appropriate. However, resolving ethical problems often requires something more. In the imaginative mode, we can think as creatively as we can about ways of resolving moral problems. This creative activity takes many forms, including imagining creative new ways of reconciling conflicting moral claims. The ethical issues
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b A CASE: Suppose James is a chemical engineer who changed employment from Company A to Company B. Before leaving Company A, his manager asked him to sign a document in which he agreed to keep confidential any proprietary information which he acquired at Company A. Soon after he arrives at Company B, James is assigned to solve a problem involving a new emission, Compound X, which is not regulated by the EPA . James' new manager does not know whether to be concerned about Compound X or not. However James realizes that some of the proprietary information he acquired at Company A might enable him to modify the manufacturing process at Company B so that the suspicious new product would not be produced in the first place. This information would be used in an entirely different way than it was used by Company A and would not harm the competitive position of Company A with respect to Company B, but James still wonders whether he should approach his new manager with a proposal that requires the use of this information. b There are three different types of issues in this case. It is important to distinguish them, for they can be found in most moral/ ethical problems. Factual issues
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2010 for the course ISE 495AX taught by Professor Rakhshani during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Brief_Introduction_to_the_Engineering_Ethics - Brief...

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