ENGR 210: ENGINEERING ETHICS

Tim Healy, Santa Clara University


This is a new course in Engineering Ethics, designed for graduate students of Engineering. It will be taught in the Spring Term of 1996, with the first class on Wedensday, April 3, 1996, from 7-9 AM. The class will then meet on the next ten consecutive Wednesdays.The course will be team-taught by Tim Healy, of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Tom Shanks, S.J., director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The course will begin with an introduction to the basis of ethics. We will ask what is ethics, what are its philosophical underpinnings, why is ethics important to our social and business life, and how we can learn to address ethical dilemmas more effectively. We will ask what is the role of ethical codes of conduct, such as, for example the code written by the National Society of Professional Engineers, and others. A number of such codes are linkable through Codes.

We will then study a number of practical cases, including some which Schumacher has called "divergent problems, that is, problems which have no converging solution, no solution which most people would find acceptable.

We will finish the course with some general observations about the relation between ethics and living the "good life".

A complete syllabus will be available at this site at a later date.