David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and Information Technology 11 (4):299-310 (2009)
The free and open source software (Foss) movement deserves to be placed in an historico-ethical perspective that emphasizes the end user. Such an emphasis is able to enhance and support the Foss movement by arguing the ways it is heir to a tradition of professional ethical idealism and potentially related to important issues in the history of science, technology, and society relations. The focus on software from an end-user’s perspective also leads to the concept of program conviviality. From a non-technical perspective, however, software is simply a new example of technology, and the effort to assure that technology is developed in a socially responsible manner has a significant history. The argument thus begins with observations about the history of technology. This leads to critical reflections on the development of professional engineering ethics, and to a discussion of the alternative technology movement. Finally, it concludes by indicating some criteria to consider when imagining the design of convivial software.
|Keywords||Alternative technology Convivial software End user Engineering ethics Free software Open source Technology transfer|
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Albert Borgmann (1984). Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry. University of Chicago Press.
Andrew Feenberg & Alastair Hannay (eds.) (1995). Technology and the Politics of Knowledge. Indiana University Press.
Samuel C. Florman (1996). The Existential Pleasures of Engineering. St. Martin's Griffin.
Eric Raymond (1999). The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 12 (3):23-49.
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