You are on page 1of 5


."A moral or ethical statement may assert that some particular action is right or wrong; or that
some actions of certain kinds are so; it may offer a distinction between good and bad characters
or dispositions; or it may propound some principle from which more detailed judgements of these
sorts might be inferred - for example that we ought always aim at the general happiness or try to
minimize the total suffering of all sentient beings, or ... That it is right and proper for everyone to
look after himself. All such statements express first order ethical judgements of different degrees
of generality."

foreign country for better salary and perquisites. If I stay here, what is the guarantee that I will be
offered continued employment? The course on ethics will not provide any yes or no answers to
these questions. It provides an inside compass that will empower an engineer to take appropriate
decisions. This write up is meant for teachers who are planning to teach course on “Engineering
Ethics”. The framework for the write up is in the context of organizations. Therefore, the student
trained in ethics, which joins an organization, which has an established policy of ethical
governance such as Tata Motors or a start up organization, will be comfortable with both. While
he will understand and appreciate the Tata Motors commitment, he will be in a position to
provide inputs on the path that organization has to take in the direction of ethics. No originality is
claimed for providing the write up. Many sources are consulted to provide the write up, the
author is thankful to all and provided bibliography at the end and no originality is claimed for
authorship and an eclectically approach has been undertaken.

If we examine the current literature on ethics, the focus is on guidelines given by
philosophers, academics and social critics. However, leaders, managers and engineers
require more practical information about managing ethics. Managing ethics in the
workplace holds tremendous benefit to all including engineers, managers, organizations
and society. This is particularly true today when it is critical to understand and manage
highly diverse groups, with different values in the workplace and operating in globalized
economic conditions.

The most frequent forms of business ethics literature today typically include:

a)philosophical, requiring orientation and analysis;
b) anthologies requiring review and integration;
c) case studies, requiring analyses to synthesize; and
d) Focus on social responsibility, which includes many examples of good and bad actions taken
by organizations.

However, if we do not attempt to study ethics at undergraduate level, we may
expose our engineers to myths about ethics, e.g., "Ethics is simply to do what's right" or
saying just “do good”. Some times many engineers may believe ethics is irrelevant

and deontology. phronesis (practical or moral wisdom). i. do not go for it. honesty. and then doing the right thing -. a consequentialist may argue that lying is wrong because of the negative consequences produced by lying — though a consequentialist may allow that certain foreseeable consequences might make lying acceptable.g. and eudaimonia (flourishing).because in business we cannot talk of ethics and training in ethics may avoids the real-to- life complexities in leading organizations. as the key element of ethical thinking. Virtue ethics is an approach to ethics that emphasizes the character of the moral agent. Many ethicists consider emerging ethical beliefs to be legal principles. are moral values.but "the right thing" is not nearly as straightforward as conveyed. In the West virtue ethics was the prevailing approach to ethical thinking in . For example Azim Premji tells all his employees whatever that is. This contrasts with consequentialism. rather than rules or consequences. in the West the roots of the tradition lie in the work of Plato and Aristotle. These concepts include arête (excellence or virtue). e. Values. A deontologist might argue that lying is always wrong. and even today the tradition’s key concepts derive from ancient Greek philosophy. etc. We have to answer a question is there are always a right thing or ethics depend on situation? We may consider ethics to be the "Science of Conduct. The difference between these three approaches to morality tends to lie more in the way moral dilemmas are approached than in the moral conclusions reached. Most ethical dilemmas in the workplace are not simply a matter of yes or no. That means even if there is some kind of doubt about a transaction. Therefore following law of the land is one of the basic virtues of ethics. which holds that the consequences of a particular act form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action. regardless of any potential "good" that might come from lying. fairness... regulation or rule. What is virtue. what becomes an ethical guideline today is made into to a law. For example. Statements around how these values are applied are sometimes called moral or ethical principles.e. responsibility. would focus less on lying in any particular instance and instead consider what a decision to tell a lie or not tell a lie said about one's character and moral behavior. What is ethics? Ethics involves learning what is right or wrong. Although concern for virtue appears in several philosophical traditions. A virtue ethicist. however. which derives rightness or wrongness from the character of the act itself rather than the outcomes. which guide how we ought to behave. “Grey is Black”. Philosophers such as Socrates and Plato have given guidelines for ethical behaviour. values such as respect.” Ethics includes the fundamental ground rules by which we live our lives.

economic analysis or sociology. Writing in 350 BC. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry. while international law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to environmental regulation or military action. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law. as Aristotelianism fell out of favour in the West. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on derivatives markets. The tradition suffered an eclipse during the early modern period. economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people. into legal history. Virtue theory returned to prominence in Western philosophical thought in the twentieth century. philosophy.the ancient and medieval periods. where judge made law is not consolidated. Property law defines rights and obligations related to the transfer and title of personal (often referred to as chattel) and real property. while tort law allows claims for compensation if a person's rights or property are harmed. Trust law applies to assets held for investment and financial security. criminal law offers means by which the state can prosecute the perpetrator. and is today one of the three dominant approaches to normative theories (the other two being deontology and consequentialism). the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions. fairness and justice. whereas virtue theorists simply argue that developing morally desirable virtues for their own sake will help aid moral actions when such decisions need to be made. and common law systems.[1] Virtue theory is not actually in conflict with deontology or teleology: those two viewpoints deal with which actions a person should take in any given scenario. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality. religion informs the law. the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared. which codify their laws. "In .[5] It shapes politics. If the harm is criminalised in a statute. usually enforced through a set of institutions. In some countries. The other eight moral virtues include: • Prudence • Justice • Fortitude • Courage • Liberality • Magnificence • Magnanimity • Temperance Law Law is a system rules. "The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual. Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies." Legal systems elaborate rights and responsibilities in a variety of ways.

race. Morals have typically been more obvious in children's literature. and an accountable executive. and are now usually only included for ironic purposes. "Be friends with whom you don't like". sometimes even being introduced with the phrase: "The moral of the story is …". at the end of Aesop's fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. However. that "arrogance or overconfidence in one's abilities may lead to failure or the loss of an event. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public. or contest".Moral is also understood as an individual understanding or translation of mannerisms at which they abide. a democratic legislature. reader or viewer to determine for themselves. Throughout the history of recorded literature."[7] In a typical democracy. Such explicit techniques have grown increasingly out of fashion in modern storytelling. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law. As an example of the latter. while the novels of Charles Dickens are a vehicle for morals regarding the social and economic system of Victorian Britain. in which the plodding and determined tortoise wins a race against the much-faster yet extremely arrogant hare. The moral may be left to the hearer. namely an impartial judiciary. such as those typically found in Shakespeare's plays. the stated moral is "slow and steady wins the race". or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim. "Sticks and stones will break my bones. "The evil deserves no aid". "Don't judge people by the way they look". for instance. the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet). for example. Moral A moral (from Latin morālis) is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. for example. enables the writer to generate a clear message. the moral may be more nuanced but no less present. beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread. its majestic equality". a government's bureaucracy. "Slow and steady wins the race". inform or improve their audiences or readership. . With more rounded characters. In classical drama. the role of the chorus was to comment on the proceedings and draw out a message for the audience to take away with them. said the author Anatole France in 1894. other morals can often be taken from the story itself. the military and police are vital. an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress. the majority of fictional writing has served not only to entertain but also to instruct. and the writer may point it up in other ways (see. "the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges. Some examples are: "Better to be safe than sorry". the central institutions for interpreting and creating law are the three main branches of government. but words will never hurt me". and "Your overconfidence is your weakness". The use of stock characters is a means of conveying the moral of the story by eliminating complexity of personality and so spelling out the issues arising in the interplay between the characters.

In a common archaic usage it also meant constancy or sincerity in action or character. This article introduces the various perspectives and claims. both today and throughout history. objective. what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false. the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play.[1] It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. how to define and identify truth. . such as the state of being in accord with a particular fact or reality. real events or actualities. relative. which can correspondingly take logical. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth.Truth Truth can have a variety of meanings. or being in accord with the body of real things. [1] The direct opposite of truth is "falsehood". or absolute. factual or ethical meanings. and whether truth is subjective. Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars and philosophers.