The Concept Of Virtue Ethics Essay

The Concept Of Virtue Ethics Essay

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Engineers, per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, are “persons who design, build, or maintain engines, machines, or public works.” Despite the literacy of the definition, engineers are humans by nature, and humans, are the key ingredient to humanity. Humanity is a word derived from the Latin word ‘humanitas’, which stands for human nature and kindness. Therefore, an engineer is not solely accountable for the ability to design and build, but rather, an engineer has the obligation to his/her own moral compass in the greater purpose of attributing to humanity. The remainder of this paper delves into these moral obligations present to the virtue-oriented engineer.
The concept of virtue ethics is not a new topic of discussion. In fact, it was developed over 2000 years ago by Aristotle. Aristotle believes that happiness (Eudaimonia) is the end (telos) in which all means lead to. This end can be achieved through a series of virtuous decisions which form symbiotic balance between deficiency and excess. Temperance is the mean between gluttony and being overly abstemious; courage is the mean between recklessness and cowardice; generosity is the mean between stinginess and prodigality, and so forth. The question still remains as to how one can achieve this virtue. For Aristotle, the ethics of virtue (arête) are derived from habituation. In essence, the state of upbringing is instrumental in ethically-virtuous attainment. With that being said, Aristotle agrees that ethical action requires cognitive process. He discerns that the perception of ethical action is formulated through the habituation of moral and intellectual virtue. Moral virtues are developed through upbringing. Intellectual virtues are obtained in a continuous learning process throu...


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... the correct course of action even when the conditions change. Aristotle focuses on choosing the correct path. However, I believe that in actuality, it is very difficult to choose the correct path with a hundred percent accuracy. As such, one must be able to adapt and conquer in the face of adversity.
It is the time for engineers to transcend the groupthink mentality that a job description encompasses all the tasks for a particular job. In respect to the theories of Aristotle, the individual who possesses rational excellence will always do the right thing, in the right way, and at the right time. For the greatest success of the nation, it is critical that humans pursue this rational excellence. Engineers, as agents of change, have the gift of allowing for the promotion of society as a whole. As such, it is important that we employ these issues in our day-to-day tasks.

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