Aristotle's Theory Of Virtue Essay

887 Words 4 Pages
Society places a significant amount of trust in engineers, and engineers must work to earn that trust. This paper explores Aristotle’s theory on ethics, specifically the meaning and purpose of virtues. It then considers the virtues taught here at Texas A&M University, and how those virtues relate to engineering. Finally, it proposes additional virtues that engineers must cultivate. These virtues, while applicable to any person, either provide significantly more value to engineers specifically or are often neglected by engineers despite their inherent worth.
The premise of Aristotle’s ethical system relies upon several complicated ideas expressed using Greek words: telos, eudaimonia, and arête, among others. The first issue plaguing Aristotle
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In order to flourish as an engineer, one must possess several virtues of the mind. In addition to knowledge, a virtuous engineer should possess intelligence and wisdom. Although all humans should strive to possess such crucial virtues of the mind, situations presented to engineers often affect a large number of people, and beget repercussions that are often difficult to foresee. Therefore, an engineer must have particularly strong virtues of the mind in order to fully understand the consequences of his or her actions. Additionally, an engineer must possess responsibility. A properly developed virtue of responsibility, paired with strong virtues of the mind, causes an engineer to understand the importance of his or her actions, while simultaneously accepting the magnitude of that importance and doing everything in his or her power to produce a result that will benefit society. The dichotomous virtues of pride and humility must also be trained in a virtuous engineer. Again, these virtues are important to all, but perhaps more crucial for engineers. A truly virtuous engineer must take pride in his or her work, striving always to improve. However, he or she must also possess the humility to admit that he or she, while excellent at the job, is human, and therefore fallible. Engineers notoriously lack humility; arrogance runs rampant through our ranks. If one lacks humility

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