Virtue Ethics, Positive Psychology, and a New Model of Science and Engineering Ethics Education

Hyemin Han
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Science and Engineering Ethics, 21(2), 441-460. DOI: 10.1007/s11948-014-959-7

This essay develops a new conceptual framework of science and engineering ethics education based on virtue ethics and positive psychology. Virtue ethicists and positive psychologists have argued that current rule-based moral philosophy, psychology, and education cannot effectively promote students’ moral motivation for actual moral behavior and may even lead to negative outcomes, such as moral schizophrenia. They have suggested that their own theoretical framework of virtue ethics and positive psychology can contribute to the effective promotion of motivation for self-improvement by connecting the notion of morality and eudaimonic happiness. Thus this essay attempts to apply virtue ethics and positive psychology to science and engineering ethics education and to develop a new conceptual framework for more effective education. In addition to the conceptual-level work, this essay suggests two possible educational methods: moral modeling and involvement to actual moral activity in science and engineering ethics classes, based on the conceptual framework.

The final publication is available from Springer.