Engineering Ethics

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Course Unit Code711-0108/01
Number of ECTS Credits Allocated2 ECTS credits
Type of Course Unit *Compulsory
Level of Course Unit *First Cycle
Year of Study *First Year
Semester when the Course Unit is deliveredWinter Semester
Mode of DeliveryFace-to-face
Language of InstructionCzech, English
Prerequisites and Co-Requisites There are no prerequisites or co-requisites for this course unit
Name of Lecturer(s)Personal IDName
HAU40prof. Dr. Mgr. Tomáš Hauer
ZEM0106Mgr. Tomáš Zemčík, Ph.D.
The subject of research in ethics are moral convictions and their justifications. Ethics is a theoretical reflection of morality and theories of moral behavior. As a philosophical discipline reflects not only the conduct that is related to the differentiation of right and wrong, good and evil, but also examines individual and social moral convictions, in connection with that discernment arise.

Engineering Ethics, as part of the sphere of applied ethics, criticaly reflects the grounds of moral conduct, assessment and examines the background of moral values and moral convictions, the legitimacy of their reasoning, and evidence-based arguments in context of technical and engeniers agenda. Engineering Ethics develops criteria which systematize normative beliefs and offers orientation in decision-making situations in which engineers and technicians are insufficient everyday moral intuitions. Engineering Ethics therefore be primarily interested in the justification of moral conviction in cases deciding the daily engineering practice, in which our intuitive moral convictions are uncertain, or contradictory and ambiguous.

Emphasis is placed on the practical development of the competences of recognizing the ethical conflict, the ability to analyze this problem to its concealed assumptions and the ability to communicate and present this knowledge to both the expert working team and lay people.
Learning Outcomes of the Course Unit
Students completing the course will be able to:
- Effectively use basic methodological approaches in ethics;
- To understand the basic ethical concepts;
- Ethically justify ours decisions in cases in which engineers and technicians are insufficient everyday moral intuitions.
- Assess the legitimacy of ethical arguments in solving conflict situations;
- Identify your own strengths and weaknesses in the present solutions ethical dilemma.
Course Contents
1. Formation and establishment of ethics as a discipline.
2. Basic ethical problems and concepts.
3. Basic methodological approaches in ethics (descriptive ethics, normative ethics, meta-ethics, applied ethics).
4. Main functions of morality, justification of moral sentences.
5. The concept of moral conduct.
6. Historical overview of ethical theory.
7. The obligation and the moral law: deontological ethics.
8. Utilitarianism.
9. Submission of ethical argument and its structure.
10. Thought experiments in ethics.
Recommended or Required Reading
Required Reading:
VAN DE POEL, I. Ethics, Technology, and Engineering: An Introduction, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. ISBN: 978-1444330946.
WHITBECK, C. ETHICS IN ENGINEERING PRACTICE AND RESEARCH (Second Edition), Cambridge University Press 2011, New York, USA, Second edition published 2011, ISBN 978-0-521-89797-6.
ŠMAJS, J. Etika, ekonomika, příroda. Praha : Grada , 2012. ISBN 978-80-247-4293-9
THOMPSON, M. Přehled Etiky, Portál , Praha 2004. ISBN 80-7178-806-6
Recommended Reading:
SCHINZINGER, R. Introduction to Engineering Ethics, New York, The McGraw-Hill Companies 2010, ISBN 978-0-07-248311-6.
SINGER, P. A companion to ethics. Oxford : Blackwcll Publishcrs, 1993. ISBN 978-0631187851.
WALLACH, W. A dangerous master, Basic Book 2015, New York, ISBN 978-0-465-05862-4.
DROZENOVÁ, W. et al. Etika vědy v České republice: od historických kořenů k současné bioetice. Praha : Filosofia, 2010.
LUCKMANN, T., BERGER, P. Sociální konstrukce reality. Praha : CDK, 1999.
SLACK, J. M. W. O vejcích a vědcích. Praha : Paseka, 2001.
KUHN, T. Struktura vědeckých revolucí. Praha : OIKOYMENH, 1997.
HAIDT, J. Morálka lidské mysli: proč lidstvo rozděluje politika a náboženství. Praha : Dybbuk, 2013.
SELFIE, CH. Nula. Praha : Argo, 2005.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
Assesment methods and criteria
Task TitleTask TypeMaximum Number of Points
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Minimum Number of Points for Task Passing
CreditCredit85 85