edc_2011_11 - Chapter 11: Ethics and Design CHAPTER 11:...

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Chapter 11: Ethics and Design 113 CHAPTER 11: ETHICS AND DESIGN Chapter outline Ethics in design Nature and scope of design consequences Good design and ethical design Ethical decision-making Key guidelines related to ethics and design Consider the impact of your design in relation to: development and testing manufacture –u s e r s –s o c i e t y end of life of the design Consider ethical decision-making in relation to: cost-benefit analysis risk assessment organizational context regulatory compliance The first thing to recognize about engineering ethics, and professional ethics generally, is that they do not entail a fundamentally new and different basis for ethics than you already have. Professional ethics do not ask you to adopt one set of values at the workplace and another set in your personal or civic life. Logically and ethically, the founding principles of our actions must go
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Chapter 11: Ethics and Design 114 and responsibly applied to your professional work in recognition of the duties and consequences particular to it. Without this common foundation, studying professional ethics would not mean anything. But this is not to say that there is no difference between personal and profes- sional ethics. Although the underlying values will have much in common, professional situations entail fiduciary obligations and involve profoundly new and different contexts for your actions—contexts that could entail far- reaching ramifications for others. This difference in context means that your actions take on a different significance when they are part of your professional work. This is the reason that professional organizations create and promote their own codes of ethics. For example, the National Society of Professional Engineers, NSPE, publishes a Code of Ethics for Engineers that attempts to lay out, in a general sense, the basic ethical duties an engineer assumes as a professional. What is different about ethics in the professional context? Ethics, at its most basic level, is about taking responsibility for your actions by anticipating their potential consequences—both intended and unintended—and acting so that those consequences will be positive. As future engineers, your professional work may greatly influence your users, your community, and even society at large—perhaps in non-obvious ways. Personal integrity is essential. But
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This note was uploaded on 05/30/2011 for the course MATH 203 taught by Professor Xia during the Summer '00 term at Culver-Stockton.

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edc_2011_11 - Chapter 11: Ethics and Design CHAPTER 11:...

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