Aristotle's Virtue Ethics Case Study

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What does it mean to be a good engineer? What makes an engineer good? This paper will seek to answer these important questions. An ambitious endeavor such as this, though, calls for some tool to aid in the investigation. An effective tool for questions of this nature is Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics, and this ethical system will be used throughout. If virtue, as defined by Aristotle, is whatever makes something an outstanding example of its kind, then this paper should be concerned with discovering what these virtues are for an engineer. Indeed, herein lies the answer to the questions posed above. To focus the inquiry, the questions shall be restated as: “What are the virtues necessary for an engineer and how can one cultivate such virtues?” Before answering this question, it is necessary to explain what is meant by Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics. The well known philosopher Aristotle developed an ethical system that has inspired many cultures and religions since its inception. Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics is a type of aspirational ethics, as opposed to prohibitive or preventative ethics, that focuses on living the “good life”. Virtue Ethics is concerned more with a person being an outstanding example of their kind and less with achieving the best consequences, as in utilitarianism, or with conforming to a sense of duty, as in Kantian Duty Ethics. …show more content…
This, I think, is what Aristotle, and those who came after him, envisioned. He did not develop this system of Virtue Ethics to show people the lowest bar they had to reach in order to be considered “good”, but rather to show them the beauty, the wonder, that there is in the sky above them, and to get them to reach for it. Let us not be satisfied with the base requirement for virtue. Might we as engineers be ruined for the ordinary, the average, and be stirred up to impact our world for

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