How to Teach Engineering Ethics? A Retrospective and Prospective Sketch of TU Delft’s Approach to Engineering Ethics Education

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Abstract

This paper provides a retrospective and prospective overview of TU Delft’s approach to engineering ethics education. For over twenty years, the Ethics and Philosophy of Technology Section at TU Delft has been at the forefront of engineering ethics education, offering education to a wide range of engineering and design students. The approach developed at TU Delft is deeply informed by the research of the Section, which is centered around Responsible Research and Innovation, Design for Values, and Risk Ethics. These theoretical approaches are premised on the notion that technologies are inherently value-laden, and as such contain the possibility of fostering or hindering moral values. Each of these approaches encourages students to take a proactive attitude with respect to their projects and profession, thinking creatively about – and taking responsibility for – how to both prevent harm and do good via the technologies they help develop. To explain how this is put into practice, this paper sketches a brief history of ethics teaching at TU Delft, outlines current activities, and presents future plans for Bachelor and Master’s level engineering ethics education at TU Delft.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Engineering Education
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • engineering ethics
  • philosophy of engineering education
  • engineering ethics education

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