Holistic Engineering Ethics?

Proceedings of the Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference (2018)
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This paper focuses on the question of What kind of engineering ethics (EE) is needed to develop holistic engineers who can practice and promote the principles of sustainable development? It is argued that, given the existence of other models, an approach to EE, as argued for at EESD 2016, centred on “training engineers for handling ethical dilemmas in sustainability contexts” (Lundqvist and Svanstrom 2016) is inadequate to address the sustainability challenge facing engineers.. We contend that while EE is now a diverse and fragmented field sociological tools can be used to understand this diversity. A framework is offered for understanding different approaches. This is used as the basis for arguing for a more extended and broad approach which allows us to focus on the relationship between social structure and human action and the need for “adequate social institutions and structures” (Becker 2012: 28) to enable ethical action. Thus engineers not should only understand the constraints and enablers emanating from the environments in which they work but can also strive for change in these environments.

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Diana Martin
Eindhoven University of Technology


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