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HS 448: Professional Ethics

Aim: discussing the special ethical problems and issues that arise in a profession for the
professional, the client, and the larger community.
Methodology: application of moral reasoning to established professions such as
engineering. Medical, business, nursing, journalism etc.
Moral reasoning entails the search for values and principles that promote a good life and
human flourishing. Employing the expertise as professional, may affect the lives of others
very severely. It is critically important that one is thoughtful and reflective about the role
of ethics in their work.
What is expected of the course?
Through successful completion of course – lecture discussions, readings, and assignments
one would hopefully gain the tools to identify and analyze ethical issues in your
professional life.

I. Introduction to Ethics: Conceptual and Foundational Issues

¾ What is morality?
¾ Approaches to Ethical issues
¾ Analysis of Ethical concepts
¾ Fundamental ethical theories

II. Nature and Characteristics of Professions and professional

III. The relation between professional and general ethics;

¾ Moral agent: Ethical dilemmas and conflicts
¾ Moral qualities associated with professions
¾ Rights and Responsibilities of Professionals: Occupational and Ordinary

IV. Foundations and norms of professional ethics; issue of autonomy of professional


V. Specific issues pertaining to:

a. Medical Ethics (Bioethics)

b. Business Ethics
c. Engineering Ethics
d. Environmental Ethics
e. Legal Ethics
f. Mass Media and Information-Technology

Martin, Mike W, Meaningful Work : Rethinking ProfessionalEthics, New York: Oxford

University Press, 2000

Koehn, D., The Ground of Professional Ethics, Routledge, 1995.

Camenisch, P.F. Grounding Professional Ethics in a Pluralistic Society, N.Y.: Haven

Publications, 1983.

Bayles, M.D., Professional Ethics, California: Wardsworth Publishing Company, 1981.

Wuest, D.E., Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility, Rowman & Littlefield, 1994