The Engineer as Moral Agent

by Carl Nelson, (M.ASCE), Dir., Field Services; ASCE, New York, NY 10017,
Susan Rae Peterson, Asst. Prof. of Philosophy; C.W. Post Center, Long Island Univ., Greenvale, NY,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 1-5

Document Type: Journal Paper


The ways in which engineers fail to act as moral agents are examined. Discussions and studies show that the self-image frequently found among engineers is that of a rational calculator. Although engineers are rational agents, they are also moral agents, entrusted with public welfare and confidence. The relationship between-solving and conscientious professional behaviour is examined, and the tendency for engineers to make all problems merely technical problems is condemned.

Subject Headings: Public health and safety

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