ETHICS IN LITERATURE


Tim Healy, Santa Clara University


In this page we consider a few pieces of literature which have clear ethical content which can help us study ethical dilemmas. Let's start with Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People". This is the story of Thomas Stockmann, a doctor, who is medical officer of the baths, or spa, which is an integral part of the life - and economy - of his small town. Stockmann discovers that the waters of the spa are contaminated. Ibsen's play tells the story of what Stockmann does about this, and how the town responds. If you would like to read an ethical discussion of the play join us at An Enemy of the People.

Another story that I like that has a fine ethical dilemma for academics is May Sarton's "The Small Room". This one has no engineering subject matter, but presents a good problem. There is no analysis link set up on this one as yet, but its a good read, and you might enjoy looking at the ethical issue on your own.