Engineers and the other: the role of narrative ethics

Hersh, M.A. (2016) Engineers and the other: the role of narrative ethics. AI and Society, 31(3), pp. 327-345. (doi: 10.1007/s00146-015-0594-7)

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The paper presents a new seven-step methodology for using narrative ethics and two case studies illustrating its application. A brief discussion of the importance of ethics to engineers and the need to consider outcomes and macroethics introduce the paper. This is followed by overviews of the literature on narrative ethics, the ethics of care, and virtue ethics and moral exemplars. The ethics of care and virtue ethics are included due to their relationship to narrative and the fact they are probably less known to many engineers than other types of ethical theories. The paper also considers the important issues of culture, diversity and the ‘other’ and the need for support and collective responsibility. Understanding diversity and the ‘other’ are very important for engineers for a number of reasons, including the need to design technologies, goods and services for people who are not engineers and who are also different from them on other characteristics, such as gender, race and disability. Although ethical behaviour is often portrayed as an individual responsibility, it is much easier to behave ethically in a context which supports and encourages ethical behaviour. Collective action is frequently more effective than individual action and can prevent victimisation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hersh, Dr Marion
Authors: Hersh, M.A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:AI and Society
ISSN (Online):1435-5655
Published Online:22 August 2015

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