The uniqueness debate in computer ethics: What exactly is at issue, and why does it matter? [Book Review]

The purpose of this essay is to determinewhat exactly is meant by the claimcomputer ethics is unique, a position thatwill henceforth be referred to as the CEIUthesis. A brief sketch of the CEIU debate is provided,and an empirical case involving a recentincident of cyberstalking is briefly consideredin order to illustrate some controversialpoints of contention in that debate. To gain aclearer understanding of what exactly isasserted in the various claims about theuniqueness of computer ethics, and to avoidmany of the confusions currently associatedwith the term ``unique'', a precise definition ofthat term is proposed. We then differentiatetwo distinct and radically differentinterpretations of the CEIU thesis, based onarguments that can be found in the relevantcomputer ethics literature. The twointerpretations are critically analyzed andboth are shown to be inadequate in establishingthe CEIU thesis. We then examine and reject twoassumptions implicit in arguments advanced bothby CEIU advocates and their opponents. Inexposing and rejecting these assumptions, wesee why it is not necessary to accept theconclusions reached by either side in thisdebate. Finally, we defend the view thatcomputer ethics issues are both philosophicallyinteresting and deserving of our attention,regardless of whether those issues might alsohappen to be unique ethical issues
Keywords CEIU thesis   ICT ethics   cyberstalking   moral issues   moral principles   objects of moral consideration   uniqueness advocates   uniqueness debate
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1015283808882
 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: 23,201
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Marion Godman (2008). But is It Unique to Nanotechnology? Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (3):391-403.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

34 ( #138,994 of 1,940,952 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #197,835 of 1,940,952 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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