Engineering Ethics Reading List

Kars Alfrink
Jun 11 · 2 min read

I recently followed an excellent three-day course on engineering ethics. It was offered by the TU Delft graduate school and taught by Behnam Taibi with guest lectures from several of our faculty.

I found it particularly helpful to get some suggestions for further reading that represent some of the foundational ideas in the field. I figured it would be useful to others as well to have a pointer to them.

So here they are. I’ve quickly gutted these for their meaning. The one by Van de Poel I did read entirely and can highly recommend for anyone who’s doing design of emerging technologies and wants to escape from the informed consent conundrum.

I intend to dig into the Doorn one, not just because she’s one of my promoters but also because resilience is a concept that is closely related to my own interests. I’ll also get into the Floridi one in detail but the concept of information quality and the care ethics perspective on the problem of information abundance and attention scarcity I found immediately applicable in interaction design.

  1. Stilgoe, Jack, Richard Owen, and Phil Macnaghten. “Developing a framework for responsible innovation.” Research Policy 42.9 (2013): 1568–1580.
  2. Van den Hoven, Jeroen. “Value sensitive design and responsible innovation.” Responsible innovation (2013): 75–83.
  3. Hansson, Sven Ove. “Ethical criteria of risk acceptance.” Erkenntnis 59.3 (2003): 291–309.
  4. Van de Poel, Ibo. “An ethical framework for evaluating experimental technology.” Science and engineering ethics22.3 (2016): 667–686.
  5. Hansson, Sven Ove. “Philosophical problems in cost–benefit analysis.” Economics & Philosophy 23.2 (2007): 163–183.
  6. Floridi, Luciano. “Big Data and information quality.” The philosophy of information quality. Springer, Cham, 2014. 303–315.
  7. Doorn, Neelke, Paolo Gardoni, and Colleen Murphy. “A multidisciplinary definition and evaluation of resilience: The role of social justice in defining resilience.” Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (2018): 1–12.

We also got a draft of the intro chapter to a book on engineering and ethics that Behnam is writing. That looks very promising as well but I can’t share yet for obvious reasons.


Originally published at Leapfroglog.

Kars Alfrink

Written by

Designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.

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