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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 39, Issue 2, Summer 2020

Spyridon Stelios
Pages 253-268

Professional Engineers
Interconnecting Personal Virtues with Human Good

Professional ethics refer to the rights and obligations of practitioners within any profession or sector. Engineering ethics can be discussed based on the nature of the engineer profession and its implications for professional morality. This paper takes the virtue ethics lens to discuss engineering ethics and argues that, since human and social good derives from professional virtues, protecting the public interest is a professional virtue of engineers. Further, since the protection of the public interest redounds to human and social good, then engineers are bound by the nature of their professional role to achieve these two interconnected aims, namely, protecting the public interest and promoting human good. The importance of virtues is eminent in the way an engineer improves her professional conduct and this has an impact on the social environment and on human good in general. Given an engineer’s concern with the broad public needs of people, the engineer’s function counts as a morally good role, and therefore can be described as one that can lead to human flourishing.

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