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This module is designed to teach students about rights by presenting a framwork for justifying rights claims and then grounding them in everyday practice. Students learn the framework; key elements are summarized in this module. Then they are assigned a right claim which they validate and contextualize using this framework. This module is being developed as a part of an NSF-funded project, "Collaborative Development of Ethics Across the Curriculum Resources and Sharing of Best Practices," NSF SES 0551779.

Module introduction

Preliminary Draft distributed at APPE, 2005 in San Antonio, TX

Engineers and other professionals work in large corporations under the supervision of managers who may lack their expertise, skills, and commitment to professional standards. This creates communication and ethical challenges. At the very least, professionals are put in the position of having to advocate their ethical and professional standards to those who, while not being opposed to them, may not share their understanding of and commitment to them.

This module is designed to give you the tools and the practice using them necessary to prevail in situations that require advocacy of ethical and professional standards. In this module you carry out several activities. (1) You will study the philosophical and ethical foundations of modern rights theory through a brief look at Kantian Formalism. (2) You will learn a framework for examining the legitimacy of rights claims. (3) You will practice this framework by examining several rights claims that engineers make over their supervisors. This examination will require that you reject certain elements, rephrase others, and generally recast the claim to satisfy the requirments of the rights justification framework. (4) Finally, in small groups you will build tables around your reformulation of these rights claims and present the results to the class. This module will help you to put your results together with the rest of your classmates and collectively assemble a toolkit consisting of the legitimate rights claims that engineers and other professionals can make over their managers and supervisors.

For more background on rights theory and the relation of rights and duties see (1) Henry Shue, Basic Rights: Subsistence, Affluence, and U.S. Foreign Policy , 2nd edition, Princeton, 1980 and (2) Thomas Donaldson, The Ethics of International Business , Oxford, 1989. This exercise has been used in computer and engineering ethics classes at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez from 2002 on to the present. It is being incorporated into the textbook, Good Computing: A Virtue Approach to Computer Ethics by Chuck Huff, William Frey, and Jose Cruz.

What you need to know...

    Problematic right claims

  • El derecho para actuar de acuerdo a la conciencia etica y rechazar trabajos en los cuales exista una variacion de opinones morales.
  • El derecho de expresar juicio profesional, y hacer pronunciamientos publicos que sean consistentes con restricciones corporativas sobre la informacion propietaria.
  • El derecho a la lealtad corporativa y la libertad de que sea hecho un chivo expiatorio para catastrofes naturales, ineptitud de administracion u otras fuerzas mas alla del control del ingeniero.
  • El derecho a buscar el mejoramiento personal mediante estudios postgraduados y envolverse en asociaciones profesionales.
  • .El derecho a participar en actividades de partidos politicos fuera de las horas de trabajo.
  • El derecho a solicitar posiciones superiores con otras companias sin que la companis en la que trabaje tome represalias contra el ingeniero.
  • El derecho al debido proceso de ley y la libertad de que se le apliquen penalidades arbitrarias o despidos.
  • El derecho a apelar por revision ante una asociacion profesional, ombudsman o arbitro independiente.
  • El derecho a la privacidad personal.
  • Rights claims come from: Bill W. Baker. (2004) "Engineering Ethics: An Overview," in Engineering Ethics: Concepts, Viewpoints, Cases and Codes , eds. Jimmy H. Smith and Patricia M. Harper. Compiled and Published by the National Institute for Engineering Ethics: 21-22.
  • Translated into Spanish and published in: Etica en la Practica Profesional de la Ingenieria by Wilfredo Munoz Roman published in 1998 by the Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de Puerto Rico and Universidad Politecnica de Puerto Rico

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Modules linking to computing cases. OpenStax CNX. Jul 26, 2007 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10423/1.2
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