Academic dishonesty is nothing new, yet it is particularly disturbing to find among engineering students, whose professional lives need to be guided by the highest ethical standards. Moral philosophy may illuminate some of the conditions for recovering a sense of the ethical for engineering students. Classical moral philosophers held that people belong to communities in ways that inform their sense of obligation. Recognition of these communities would make concrete the engineer's responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of the public. A further difficulty is that the primary community that students know is simply that of their peers in school or the workplace, which does not form a sufficient context for the sense of moral obligation inherent in the engineer's role. This paper seeks to define the moral obligation of the engineer using traditional moral philosophy and describe how this obligation might be translated into a more positive definition of success. It also addresses means by which educators can help engineering students to better understand their moral obligation.


Materials Science and Engineering

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