Professions in Ethical Focus
An Anthology
  • Publication Date: August 13, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551116990 / 1551116995
  • 520 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

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Professions in Ethical Focus

An Anthology

  • Publication Date: August 13, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551116990 / 1551116995
  • 520 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

Professions in Ethical Focus assembles over 40 seminal and new essays in five units, each dedicated to a specific profession. “Ethics in Accounting and Finance” explores recent corporate scandals and insider trading. “Engineering Ethics” examines the dilemmas that engineers often face. The essays in “Journalistic Ethics” consider journalists’ ethical responsibilities, the role of objectivity, and the place of privacy in reporting. The professional responsibilities of lawyers, including the lawyer-client relationship and the duty (if any) to represent repugnant clients in an adversarial system, receive extended treatment in “Legal Ethics.” Finally, “Medical Ethics” explores the doctor-patient relationship, trust and confidentiality, informed consent, and other central topics for health professionals.

The editors provide thoughtful introductions, case studies, and study questions for each unit, providing readers with a clear guide to the central issues in professional ethics.


“Corporate accounting fraud, collapsing bridges and cranes, journalistic scandals about plagiarism and confidentiality and dramas at the nexus of law and medicine all raise important issues about the nature of the professions and their ethical foundations. To help inform our understanding of these matters, Fritz Allhoff and Anand Vaidya have assembled an important anthology, Professions in Ethical Focus, which collects seminal articles and new essays by leading authors into a single volume. This presentation allows readers to appreciate both the similarities across professions and the distinctiveness of each. Challenging questions and instructive points emerge from this treatment. Do the morality and the character of each profession derive from a general sense of civic virtue or the distinctive social role of the profession? Are central professional commitments endemic to individual professions or invariant across them? In sum, this is a fascinating volume and a useful text for teaching about such issues.” — Rosamond Rhodes, Mount Sinai School Of Medicine

“An extremely useful collection of classic pieces and recent works. While organized around five common professions, it also provides the opportunity to investigate themes—such as confidentiality or public responsibility—that arise in virtually every profession. It thus allows an integrated approach to professional ethics which is both pedagogically helpful and long overdue.” — John Corvino, Wayne State University

Preliminaries: Why Study Professional Ethics?
Fritz Allhoff and Anand Vaidya, “Volume Introduction”

  1. Ernest Greenwood, “Attributes of a Profession”
  2. Don Welch, “Just Another Day at the Office: The Ordinariness of Professional Ethics”
  3. John T. Sanders, “Honor Among Thieves: Some Reflections on Professional Codes of Ethics”
  4. Michael Davis, “Professional Responsibility: Just Following the Rules?”

Unit 1: Ethics in Accounting and Finance
Anand Vaidya, “Ethics in Accounting and Finance”

  • Accountants’ Obligations and Virtues
    1. Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi and Mark R. Nixon, “Ethics in the Public Accounting Profession”
    2. Domènec Melé, “Ethical Education in Accounting: Integrating Rules, Values, and Virtues”
  • Learning from Corporate Scandals
    1. “The Lessons from Enron”
    2. Howard Rockness and Joanne Rockness, “Legislated Ethics: From Enron to Sarbanes-Oxley, the Impact on Corporate
    3. Catherine Gowthorpe and Oriol Amat, “Creative Accounting: Some Ethical Issues of Macro- and Micro-
  • Insider Trading
    1. Patricia H. Werhane, “The Ethics of Insider Trading”
    2. Tibor R. Machan, “What Is Morally Right with Insider Trading”
    3. Richard L. Lippke, “Justice and Insider Trading”

Case Study: Earnings and Ethics: Thinking about Enron

Unit 2: Engineering Ethics
Brennan Jacoby, “Engineering Ethics”

  • The Moral Foundations of Engineering
    1. Michael Davis, “Is There a Profession of Engineering?”
    2. Michael S. Pritchard, “Responsible Engineering: The Importance of Character and Imagination”
  • The Role of the Engineer
    1. Richard T. De George, “Ethical Responsibilities of Engineers in Large Organizations: The Pinto Case”
    2. Linda Rush Frantz, “Engineering Ethics: The Responsibility of the Manager”
    3. John Ladd, “Bhopal: An Essay on Moral Responsibility and Civic Virtue”
  • Ethical Dilemmas in Engineering
    1. Mike W. Martin, “Whistleblowing: Professionalism, Personal Life, and Shared Responsibility for Safety in
    2. Richard H. McCuen, “Engineering Research: Potential for Fraud”
    3. Terry L. Turnick, “Public Versus Client Interests—An Ethical Dilemma for the Engineer”
    4. Vivian Weil, “Is Engineering Ethics Just Business Ethics? What Can Empirical Findings Tell Us?”

Case Study: The West Gate Bridge: Who Was Responsible?

Unit 3: Journalistic Ethics
Aaron Quinn, “Journalistic Ethics”

  • Journalists’ Obligations and Virtues
    1. David Detmer, “The Ethical Responsibilities of Journalists”
    2. Lori Robertson, “Ethically Challenged”
  • Objectivity
    1. Theodore L. Glasser, “Objectivity Precludes Responsibility”
    2. Michael Ryan, “Journalistic Ethics, Objectivity, Existential Journalism, Standpoint Epistemology, and Public
    3. Aaron Quinn, “Accepting Manipulation or Manipulating What’s Acceptable?”
  • Privacy
    1. Samuel P. Winch, “Moral Justifications for Privacy and Intimacy”
    2. Lee Wilkins, “Journalists and the Character of Public Officials/Figures”
    3. Dennis F. Thompson, “Privacy, Politics, and the Press”
    4. Judith Lichtenberg, “Truth, Neutrality, and Conflict of Interest”

Case Study: Breaking a Promise to Prevent a Lie

Unit 4: Legal Ethics
Fritz Allhoff, “Legal Ethics”

  • Lawyers’ Obligations and Virtues
    1. Monroe H. Freedman, “Professional Responsibility of the Criminal Defense Lawyer: The Three Hardest
    2. David Luban, “The Adversary System Excuse”
    3. Elliot D. Cohen, “Pure Legal Advocates and Moral Agents: Two Concepts of a Lawyer in an Adversary
    4. Amy Gutmann, “Can Virtue Be Taught to Lawyers?”
  • Confidentiality Between Lawyer and Client
    1. Bruce M. Landesman, “Confidentiality and the Lawyer-Client Relationship”
    2. Lee A. Pizzimenti, “Informing Clients About Limits to Confidentiality”
  • Is There a Duty to Represent?
    1. Charles W. Wolfram, “A Lawyer’s Duty to Represent Clients, Repugnant and Otherwise”
    2. Kenneth Kipnis, “Responsibility for the Distribution of Legal Services”

Case Study: Willful Ignorance and the Limits of Advocacy

Unit 5: Medical Ethics
Fritz Allhoff, “Medical Ethics”

  • The Virtuous Physician and the Doctor-Patient Relationship
    1. The Hippocratic Oath
    2. Edmund D. Pellegrino, “The Virtuous Physician and the Ethics of Medicine”
    3. Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Linda L. Emanuel, “Four Models of the Physician-Patient Relationship”
  • Trust and Confidentiality
    1. David C. Thomasma, “Telling the Truth to Patients: A Clinical Ethics Exploration”
    2. Mark Siegler, “Confidentiality in Medicine—A Decrepit Concept”
    3. Kenneth Kipnis, “A Defense of Unqualified Medical Confidentiality”
  • Informed Consent, Competence, and Surrogate Decision Making
    1. Jay Katz, “Informed Consent—Must It Remain a Fairy Tale?”
    2. Allen E. Buchanan and Dan W. Brock, “Standards of Competence”
    3. Dan W. Brock, “Surrogate Decision Making for Incompetent Adults: An Ethical Framework”

Case Study: The Schiavo Case and End-of-Life Decisions


Fritz Allhoff is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University.

Anand J. Vaidya is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Comparative Philosophy at San José State University