Engineering Ethics Syllabus

Engineering Ethics – 14160 – PHIL 334 – 002

Coll of Science & Liberal Arts Department: Humanities

11:30 am – 12:55 pm Tuesday/ThuRsday Kupfrian Hall 103 Spring 2017

Prof. Gareth A. Edel , PhD. Email: Website for Course is at

Office Hours: Held in Cullimore 435 or on benches outside Cullimore Hall,

10:30- 11am Tues/Thurs, 1-1:30 pm Tues/Thurs, 11-Noon on Monday, Additionally Available by appointment.

Description: This course presents a philosophical examination of the nature of engineering practice and applied technology. The course considers such questions as: How do the societal functions of engineers and the practical application of technologies relate to basic moral and intellectual values? What moral obligations are implied by the uses and creation of technology? What are the ethical duties of engineers in the practice

of their careers?


Class Participation 10%

Required Reading Response Write-ups (5-750 words, show reading and engagement) 10%

First Examination 25%

Second/Take Home Examination 25%

Final Examination 25%

Profile an ethical decision in engineering & In- Class Presentation 5%

Extra Credit will be available for completing Reading Responses on weeks without required, additional opportunities will be

announced as we go. Students are welcome to request and suggest further extra credit opportunities.

Note: Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and failure to cite or quote will be subject to failure of assignments.


Week 1- Course Introduction

Jan 17 First Day Of class

Jan 19 Discussion of Syllabus & Reviewing Professional Ethics Statements

Week 2- Our World is made, and our making it has politics

Jan 24 & Jan 26 1st Reading Due: ‘Do Artifacts Have Politics?’ By Langdon Winner

First Required Reading Response Due in Class.

Week 3- Formal Ethics as a Way of thinking

Jan 30 &Feb 2 2nd Reading Due: ‘Introduction to Ethical Reasoning’ by Donadlson and Werhane


Second Required Reading Response Due in Class.

Week 4- Theories of ethics in application

Feb 7 3rd Reading Due: (May CHANGE) ‘Alternative Design Scholarship: Working toward Appropriate Design’ by Nieusma

Feb 9

Week 5- Engineering Ethics as a Professional Requisite

Feb 14 &Feb 16 4th Reading Due: Selection from Engineering and Ethics, by Harris Et. Al. ( NOT YET ONLINE)

Third Required Reading Response Due in Class

Week 6- Review and Exam

Feb 21 Examination Review

Feb 23 First Examination

Week 7 – Case Example- The Ford Pinto

Feb 27&Mar 2 5th Reading DueSelected Chapters from The Ford Pinto Case- A study in applied Ethics, Business and Technology‘ by

Birsch and Fielder, (Not yet online)

Fourth Required Reading Response Due in Class

Week 8 – Case Example – The Second world War

Mar 7 6th Reading Due: Selections from ‘Death by Design’ By Eric Katz and ‘IBM and the Holocaust’ by Edwin Black


Week 9- Spring Break No Class

Mar 14 – Spring Recess (No Classes)

Mar 16 – Spring Recess (No Classes)

Week 10- Case Example- The internet

Mar 21- (First class following Spring Recess) 7th Reading Due: Selections on the internet, from ‘Code 2.0′ by Lawrence Lessig, and Race after the internet’ Edited by Nakamura & Chow-White, and ‘Alone Together’ by Sherry Turkle.

Mar 23

Week 11: Engineering and the Law

Mar 27 &Mar 30 8th Reading Due: ‘Product Liability Law- What Engineers need to know” by Moll ,

‘Death by Reckless Design- The need for stricter Criminal statutes for engineering related homicies’ by Willats

‘Statutes of Repose- The design Professionals Defense to perpetual liability” by Vardaro & Waggoner

Final Required Reading Response Due in Class.

Week 12 –

Apr 4 9th Reading Due: TBA

Apr 6

Week 13

Apr 11 10th Reading Due:’The Engineer as social Radical’ by Mathes and Gray

Apr 13

Week 14 Semester Review & Wrapping Up

Apr 18 Exam Review & Student Presentations

Apr 20 Exam Review & Student Presentations

Apr 25 Examination Review

Apr 27 FINAL CLASS SESSION – IN Class Final Exam

May 2- Tuesday (No Class – Conversion to Friday Schedule) & LAST DAY OF REGULAR CLASSES

May 3-4 Reading Days, May 5-11 Exam Days