Introductory texts and references to explore ethics further.
On this page we have suggested some good introductory texts for those who would like to explore ethics further. As well as introductions to ethics in general, and to engineering ethics in particular, we have included some texts which examine specific central issues in engineering ethics, and some short articles which provide food for thought on a number of ethical questions.
You can also see a more comprehensive bibliography of all the ethics texts available from the IET Library.
An [L] after the title of a text below indicates that it is available from the IET Library. We have also set up an ethics reading list which is available on the home page of the library catalogue.
An accessible, but challenging introduction to some of the central questions of philosophical ethics. Is morality just a matter of personal opinion? Are the consequences of your actions all that matter? What are virtue and vice? Without presupposing a knowledge of philosophy on the part of the reader, but also without underplaying the complexity of the issues, this book offers a great entry point to understanding the philosophical approach to fundamental ethical questions.
Another collection of articles, this time concentrating on specific issues in applied ethics. Arranged in four sections – Life and Death, The Personal Life, Liberty and Equality, Justice – these sixty-four articles shed light on a great number of contentious issues, from abortion and euthanasia to world hunger and respect for the environment.
A comprehensive collection of articles covering a wide range of topics in ethics, from its beginnings in primitive societies, to its application to the difficult social problems of today. This book can be read from cover to cover by those looking for an in-depth journey through the world of academic ethics, or can be used as a reference book to explore particular issues and questions.
A good place to start if you want to explore further the idea of engineering as a profession, with unique ethical implications. Davis offers an analysis of what is distinctive about the profession of engineering, drawing on real-life case studies to illustrate his points.
Offering an impressively detailed analysis of complex cases, this book will also be useful to anyone interested in the application and interpretation of professional codes of conduct. Pitched at the right level for professional engineers who are looking for guidance in resolving ethical difficulties.
A text book which is aimed at students and professionals alike. A comprehensive and far-reaching study guide to ethical issues in engineering.
A great introduction to ethical issues in the world of business. Crane and Matten also maintain an excellent blog.
With technology and scientific knowledge advancing with incredible speed, are our ethical discussions – and legal frameworks – keeping pace? A multi-disciplinary assessment of the issues, which also suggests new approaches to processes and products.
Computing issues change at a furious pace, but this book is as up-to-date as any available. A valuable contribution to the understanding of IT and its implications for human beings.
Why should business executives concern themselves with IT ethics?
An excellent introduction to the study of environmental ethics which focuses on one key question: is a concern with human well-being an adequate basis for environmental ethics? This leads the author into a critical evaluation of a wide range of environmental issues, each of which is helpfully linked to further readings.
Almost all books on engineering ethics will contain a section dealing with what is a central issue for many engineers. This book looks at war in general, and the concept of a just war. It offers a mature discussion of the morality of war, drawing on numerous historical examples.
Mountbatten Lecture 2009: Ethical leadership keypoints
IET.tv - Ethical implications of robots
IET.tv - The philosophy of robot ethics
E&T Magazine has a number of articles that relate to or have ethical elements. You can find all these articles in one place by visiting the website. There are also a number of useful articles (pre-2013) which can be found in PDF format below.
Online MA in Applied and Professional Ethics – an online distance learning course on applied and professional ethics appropriate for engineers is offered by the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied CETL at the University of Leeds.
Ethics is just a matter of following your conscience, isn’t it? This fascinating article suggests that matters of conscience might not be as simple as they first appear.
A view of integrity which argues that having integrity involves standing for something beyond your own moral well-being. An article with important implications for professionals.
When does ignorance stop being a defence and itself become a source of guilt?