The role of metaethics and the future of computer ethics

Abstract
In the following essay, I will discuss D.Johnson's argument in her ETHICOMP99 KeynoteSpeech (Johnson 1999) regarding the possiblefuture disappearance of computer ethics as anautonomous discipline, and I will analyze somelikely objections to Johnson's view.In the future, there are two ways in whichcomputer ethics might disappear: (1) therejection of computer ethics as an aspect ofapplied ethics, or (2) the rejection ofcomputer ethics as an autonomous discipline.The first path, it seems to me, would lead tothe death of the entire field of appliedethics, while the second path would lead onlyto the death of computer ethics as a separatesubject. Computer technology is becoming very pervasive,and each scientific field includes somediscipline-specific computing. For the likelyforeseeable future, disciplines such asbioethics and engineering ethics will have todeal with ethical issues involving the role ofcomputers. I will argue that computer ethics inthis sense is unlikely to disappear, even ifcomputer ethics ceases to be considered as aseparate discipline.In order to understand which path will befollowed by computer ethics, I will compareJohnson's argument with ideas of earlierthinkers like N. Wiener (1950) and B. Russell(1932). Although Russell did not specificallyconsider computer technology, he had somegood intuitions about the development ofsocieties by means of technology.My conclusion will be two-fold: (1) thatapplied ethics will not die, but it may make nosense in the future to talk about computerethics as a separate field; and (2) thatcomputer ethics will not simply become``ordinary ethics'', contrary to Johnson's view.
Keywords Bertrand Russell   Deborah Johnson   applied ethics   ordinary ethics   technology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Antonio Marturano (2012). The Future of Computer Ethics 12 Years After: In Memory of Alessandro D'Atri. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 10 (3):124-130.
    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    22 ( #65,967 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,735 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.