Teaching ethics to engineers: a socratic experience Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2016

start page

  • 567

end page

  • 580


  • 2


  • 22

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1353-3452

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-5546


  • In this paper we present the authors' experience of teaching a course in Ethics for Engineers, which has been delivered four times in three different universities in Spain and Chile. We begin by presenting the material context of the course (its place within the university program, the number of students attending, its duration, etc.), and especially the intellectual background of the participating students, in terms of their previous understanding of philosophy in general, and of ethics in particular. Next we set out the objectives of the course and the main topics addressed, as well as the methodology and teaching resources employed to have students achieve a genuine philosophical reflection on the ethical aspects of the profession, starting from their own mindset as engineers. Finally we offer some results based on opinion surveys of the students, as well as a more personal assessment by the authors, recapitulating the most significant achievements of the course and indicating its underlying Socratic structure.


  • Computer Science


  • ethical education; engineers' mentality; online discussion forum; fundamental experiences; socratic dialogue; education; technology; students