Honesty, Integrity, and Virtue
This week we introduce the oldest and last of our standard ethical theories: Virtue Ethics. Whereas consequentialism is concerned with the Good in terms of maximizing happiness, and deontology is concerned with the Right in terms of our ethical obligations, the virtue ethicist is concerned with the Best, in terms of the virtues or excellences. You can think of the virtues as those admirable character traits that represent the best qualities in a person: for example, being honest, brave, fair, or kind.
Your assignment this week is to consider the virtues of engineering. In particular, you should think about two central virtues: Honesty and Integrity. Why are these virtues important in a professional context? In what ways do they represent excellence in character? In what ways are engineers professionally obligated to cultivate these virtues?
Textbook page 66-72: Competence and loyalty. Community and the Golden Mean.Textbook Chapter 7 (pg 189-216): Virtues of engineering