David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
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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Peter-Paul Verbeek (2005). What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design. Penn State University Press.
Alfred North Whitehead (1967/1925). Science and the Modern World. New York, Free Press.
Albert Borgmann (1984). Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry. University of Chicago Press.
Eric Raymond (1999). The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Knowledge, Technology and Policy 12 (3):23-49.
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