Skip to main content

How to address the volitional dimension of the engineer's social responsibility

Buy Article:

$60.90 plus tax (Refund Policy)


In this paper I argue that volitional aspects, i.e. ethos, attitude, pathos, will, underlying emotion, in engineering action need to be addressed when teaching social responsibility within the engineering curriculum. After presenting reasons for this claim, I look at two different, but not mutually exclusive, approaches to address volitional aspects. First, the recent revival of virtue ethics can be applied in engineering ethics. A moderate version of virtue ethics can explicitly elaborate on the engineering virtues. The second way makes use of various processes, e.g. research, design, learning, negotiation, decision-making, and reconciliation as processes, as a forum for teaching. This approach can be used to indirectly reveal the functionality and dysfunctionality of different attitudes to the students. Practical didactic suggestions are presented.

Keywords: engineering education; engineering ethics; motivation; social responsibility; virtue ethics; volition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: May 1, 2008

More about this publication?

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more