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Chapter: Professional Ethics in Engineering : Engineering Ethics

Important Questions and Answers: Engineering Ethics

Professional Ethics in Engineering - Engineering Ethics - Important Questions and Answers: Engineering Ethics




1. Define Ethics?

Study of right or wrong.

Good and evil.

Obligations & rights.


Social & Political deals.


2. Define Engineering Ethics?


   Study of the moral issues and decisions confronting individuals and organizations engaged in engineering / profession.


  Study of related questions about the moral ideals, character, policies and relationships of people and corporations involved in technological activity.


Moral standards / values and system of morals.


3. Differentiate Moral and Ethics?


Refers only to personal behaviour.

Refers to any aspect of human action.

Social conventions about right or wrong conduct.




  Involves defining, analyzing, evaluating and resolving moral problems and developing moral criteria to guide human behaviour.


Critical reflection on what one does and why one does it.

Refers only to professional behaviour.


4. What is the method used to solve an Ethical problem?

Recognizing a problem or its need.

Gathering information and defining the problem to be solved or goal to be achieved.

Generating alternative solutions or methods to achieve the goal.

Evaluate benefits and costs of alternate solutions.

Decision making & optimization.

Implementing the best solution.


5. What are the Senses of Engineering Ethics?

An activity and area of inquiry.

Ethical problems, issues and controversies.

Particular set of beliefs, attitudes and habits.

Morally correct.


6. Differentiate Micro-ethics and Macro-ethics?


Micro-ethics : Deals about some typical and everyday problems which play an important role in the field of engineering and in the profession of an engineer.


Macro-ethics : Deals with all the societal problems which are unknown and suddenly burst out on a regional or national level.


7. Define Moral Autonomy?



Personal Involvement


  Exercised based on the moral concern for other people and recognition of good moral reasons


8. Give the importance of Lawrence Kohlberg‟s and Carol Gilligan‟stheory?


Kohlberg gives greater emphasis to recognizing rights and abstract universal rules. Gilligan stresses the importance of maintaining personal relationships based on mutual caring.


9. Differentiate Self-respect and Self-esteem?

Self-respect: It is a moral concept; refers to the virtue properly valuing oneself.


Self-esteem: It is a psychological concept; means having a positive attitude toward oneself, even if the attitude is excessive or otherwise unwarranted.


10.            What are the senses of Responsibility?

A virtue


General moral capacities of people

Liabilities and accountability for actions

Blameworthiness or praiseworthiness


11.            What are the types of Theories about Morality?

Virtue ethics – Virtues and vices


Utilitarianism – Most good for the most people

Duty ethics – Duties to respect people

Rights ethics – Human rights


12.            Differentiate Hypothetical imperatives and Moral imperatives?


Hypothetical imperatives are based on some conditions whereas Moral imperatives wont based on some condition.


13. State Rawl‟s principles?


   Each person is entitled to the most extensive amount of liberty compatible with an equal amount for others.


  Differences in social power and economic benefits are justified only when they are likely to benefit everyone, including members of the most disadvantaged groups.


14. Give the drawbacks of Utilitarianism?


   Sometimes what is best for the community as a whole is bad for certain individuals in the community.


It is often impossible to know in advance which decision will lead to the most good.


15. Give the drawback of Duty Ethics?

Duty ethics does not always lead to a solution which maximizes the public good.


16. Differentiate Ethical Relativism and Ethical Egoism?

Ethical egoism – the view that right action consist in producing one‘s own good.


Ethical relativism the view that right action is merely what the law and customs of one‘s society require.


17. Define Ethical Pluralism?


Ethical pluralism is the view that there may be alternative moral perspectives that are reasonable, but no one of which must be accepted completely by all rational and morally concerned persons.


18. What do you mean by normative ethics?


Normative ethics deals with the professional codes of ethics that specify role norms or obligations that professions attempt to enforce. It is the recommendations of standards and guidelines for morally right or good behaviour.


19. What do you mean by ethical subjectivism?


Ethical subjectivism argues that what is ethically right or wrong for the individual depends on the ethical principles he/she has chosen. In other words, for people who subscribe to ethical subjectivism what is ethically right or wrong is entirely a personnel matter.


20. What is tacit-ethic and Meta -ethics?

Tacit ethic deals with the unsaid or unspoken rule of practice.


Meta-ethics deals with theories about ethics.


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