Further Study

For those who have taken Ethics for Engineers and want to keep exploring related questions, we offer several options:

Spring course specifically designed for students who wish to continue their study of questions raised in Ethics for Engineers.

10.06 Advanced Topics in Ethics for Engineers

Prereq: 10.01, or permission of instructor
Units: 2-0-4
In-depth study of varying advanced topics in ethics for engineers. Focuses on foundational works and their significance for the choices that engineers make, both as students and as practicing engineers. Each semester, different works and topics, based on current and perennial issues in ethics and engineering, will be chosen in order to explore facets of the extremely complex and varied subject of the place of engineering for the individual and society. Examples of topics include genetic engineering and what it means to be human, artificial intelligence and thought, the scope and limits of engineering, and engineering and freedom.

Prof. Bernhardt Trout leads short intensive seminars during IAP or summer break, for selected students from MIT and other universities. Past seminars include “Aristotle and Descartes on Biology and Cosmology,” “Unconventional Ambition: Xenophon, Bacon and Lincoln,” “The Science and Politics of Liberty,” “Newton vs. Goethe on Colors and Virtual Reality,” and “The Tempest.”
For more information, please contact Prof. Trout at trout [at] mit.edu.

Dr. Peter Hansen offers a small informal weekly reading group during IAP for interested students who have taken Ethics for Engineers.  In the past the group has read and discussed Book I of Plato’s Republic, arguably the most famous philosophic examination of justice ever written.  This work may be of particular interest to future engineers because it carefully considers the meaning of expertise and its relation to justice and human excellence.  Future reading groups may focus on Plato’s Republic or on other works.
For more information, please contact Dr. Hansen at pjhansen [at] mit.edu.