Three myths about codes of engineering ethics

TitleThree myths about codes of engineering ethics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsDavis, M.
Secondary TitleIEEE Technology and Society Magazine

A myth is a story or belief that is truer to fear or wish than to fact. My subject is three myths which are common in engineering ethics: (a) that the earliest codes of engineering ethics put loyalty to one’s client or employer ahead of the public interest; (b) that engineering codes of ethics should be mere (moral) guidelines rather than (legalistic) rules; and (c) that codes of engineering ethics are too vague to provide much guidance. Perhaps the only thing that these myths have in common is that they are all too common in discussions of engineering ethics, but I think they have more in common than that - they seem to be mutually enforcing.