<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
Recent work in moral psychology demonstrates that case discussion helps students to refine decision making techniques, leads them to question unexamined attitudes, and helps improve their moral reasoning. This module works with these developments by providing students with short, realistic scenarios whose narratives end at crucial points of decision. Students are provided with solutions that bring the narrative to a close and are asked to evaluate and rank them by using ethics and feasibility tests. The format bears a superficial resemblance to the Gray Matters exercise currently being used at Boeing Corporation in their ethics training program. But this particular version is more open-ended (students are invited to design their own solutions) and more oriented toward getting students to think about ethical issues and values. The first UPRM version of this module was introduced during an NSF funded retreat (SBR-9810253) held at Maricao, Puerto Rico in 1999. Different versions of this activity have been used in engineering, computer, and business ethics classes. 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.

The cases used in this module have been developed through NSF SBR-9810253 and UPRM ABET EAC Workshops. Also to thanks to Jaime Rodriguez, a former MBA student at UPRM, for providing cases 1 and 2.This module represents a modification of the Gray Matters format developed by George Sammet. For a more detailed description of the history of Gray Matters, see Whitbeck, Caroline. 1998. Ethics in Engineering Practice and Research. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 176-181.)


    Read the following scenarios and the accompanying solutions.

  • Evaluate the alternatives in terms of the tests described below.
  • Choose the one you think best or design your own solution if you believe you can do better.
  • Summarize your results by filling in the solution evaluation matrix that apprears on the page following the scenario. Notice that the first column repeats the solution alternatives.
  • Be prepared to present your matrix to the class. You will also provide the other groups in the class with a copy of your matrix for their ethics portfolios

    Solution evaluation tests

  • REVERSIBILITY: Would I think this is a good choice if I were among those affected by it?
  • PUBILICITY: Would I want to be publicly associated with this action through, say, its publication in the newspaper?
  • HARM/BENEFICENCE: Does this action do less harm than any of the available alternatives?
  • FEASIBILITY: Can this solution be implemented given time, technical, economic, legal, and political constraints?

Decision making scenarios and exercises

This file contains four cases: When in Aguadilla...?, The Laminating Press Room, Prints and Primos, and The Persistent Engineer.

    Harm test set-up

  • Identify the agent (=the person who will perform the action).
  • Describe the action (=what the agent is about to do).
  • Identify the stakeholders (individuals who have a vital interest at risk) and their stakes.
  • Identify, sort out, and weight the expected results or consequences.

    Harm test pitfalls

  • Paralysis of Action--considering too many consequences.
  • Incomplete analysis--considering too few results.
  • Failure to weigh harms against benefits.
  • Failure to compare different alternatives.
  • Justice failures--ignoring the fairness of the distribution of harms and benefits.

    Reversibility test set-up

  • Identify the agent
  • Describe the action
  • Identify the stakeholders and their stakes
  • Use the stakeholder analysis to select the relations to be reversed.
  • Reverse roles between the agent (you) and each stakeholder: put them in your place (as the agent) and yourself in their place (as the target of the action)
  • If you were in their place, would you still find the action acceptable?

    Reversibility pitfalls

  • Leaving out a key stakeholder relation.
  • Failing to recognize and address conflicts between stakeholders and their conflicting stakes.
  • Confusing treating others with respect with capitulating to their demands (Reversing with Hitler).
  • Failing to reach closure, i.e., an overall global reversal assessment that takes into account all the stakeholders the agent has reversed with.

    Public identification set-up

  • Set up the analysis by identifying the agent, describing the action under consideration, and listing the key values or virtues at play in the situation.
  • Associate the action with the agent.
  • Identify what the action says about the agent as a person. Does it reveal him or her as someone associated with a virtue/value or a vice?

    Public identification pitfalls

  • Action is not associated with the agent. The most common pitfall is failure to associate the agent and the action. The action may have bad consequences and it may treat individuals with disrespect but these points are not as important in the context of this test as what they imply about the agent as a person who deliberately performs such an action.
  • Failure to specify the moral quality, virtue, or value of the action that is imputed to the agent in the test. To say, for example, that willfully harming the public is bad fails to zero in on precisely what moral quality this attributes to the agent. Does it render him or her unjust, irresponsible, corrupt, dishonest, or unreasonable?

Questions & Answers

so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Modules linking to computing cases. OpenStax CNX. Jul 26, 2007 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10423/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Modules linking to computing cases' conversation and receive update notifications?