The research programme of the philosophy of information (PI) proposed in 2002 made it an independent area or discipline in philosophical research. The scientific concept of ‘information’ is formally accepted in philosophical inquiry. Hence a new and tool-driven philosophical discipline of PI with its interdisciplinary nature has been established. Philosophy of information is an ‘orientative’ rather than ‘cognitive’ philosophy. When PI is under consideration in the history of Western philosophy, it can be regarded (...) as a shift of large tradition. There are three large traditions at large, known as Platonic, Kantian and Leibniz-Russellian. In the discussion of the position of the possible worlds, we have modal Platonism and modal realism, but both of the theories are made in the framework of Western philosophy. In this essay, it is argued that possible worlds could be seen as worlds in information, which is then an interpretation of modal information theory (MIT). Our interpretation is made on the basis of Leibniz’s lifelong connection with China, a fact often overlooked by the Western philosophers. Possible world theory was influenced by the Neo-Confucianism flourishing since the Song Dynasty of China, the foundation of which is Yijing. It could be argued that Leibniz’s possible world theory was formulated in respect to the impact of the thoughts reflected in Yijing, in that one of the prominent features is the model-theoretic construction of theories. There are two approaches to theory construction, i.e., axiom-theoretic and model-theoretic. The origin of the former is from ancient Greece and the latter from ancient China. And they determined the different features of theoretic structures between the oriental and occidental traditions of science and technology. The tendency of the future development of science and technology is changing from the axiom-theoretic to the model-theoretic orientation, at least the two approaches being complementary each other. To some extent, this means the retrospective of tradition in the turning point of history, and some of the China’s cultural traditions might become the starting points in formulating the future Chinese philosophy of science and technology. (shrink)
In Search Of An Integrative Vision For Technology will stimulate its readers to consider the 'whole story that is information systems' within the context of an integrative vision of technology. It integrates disparate areas of debate and research while appreciating the contribution that philosophy can make to such thinking. It is deliberately broad in coverage, and designed to provide useful pointers so that researchers, students, practitioners, and developers can easily apply each point as needed. "Human issues (...) of technology and their normative aspects" is a theme that runs throughout the entire book. The integrative vision is centered on an understanding of human practice — the twin notions of structure and direction, and the leading and the founding functions of such practice. While this understanding applies to all technologies, it is worked out in more detail for informationtechnology. From this philosophical understanding, many interdisciplinary areas of interest are identified. (shrink)
Abstract: The core aim of this special issue is to present the philosophy of information as a way of doing philosophy, to focus on the contributions of Luciano Floridi to that area, and most important, to stimulate the debate on the most distinctive and controversial views he has defended in that context. This introduction contains a description of the philosophy of information, a discussion of two common misconceptions about the scope and the ambition of the (...)philosophy of information, and a brief overview of the essays in the issue. (shrink)
Computing is changing the traditional field of Philosophy of Science in a very profound way. First as a methodological tool, computing makes possible ``experimental Philosophy'' which is able to provide practical tests for different philosophical ideas. At the same time the ideal object of investigation of the Philosophy of Science is changing. For a long period of time the ideal science was Physics (e.g., Popper, Carnap, Kuhn, and Chalmers). Now the focus is shifting to the field of (...) Computing/Informatics. There are many good reasons for this paradigm shift, one of those being a long standing need of a new meeting between the sciences and humanities, for which the new discipline of Computing/Informatics gives innumerable possibilities. Contrary to Physics, Computing/Informatics is very much human-centered. It brings a potential for a new Renaissance, where Science and Humanities, Arts and Engineering can reach a new synthesis, so very much needed in our intellectually split culture. This paper investigates contemporary trends and the relation between the Philosophy of Science and the Philosophy of Computing and Information, which is equivalent to the present relation between Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Physics. (shrink)
There is surprisingly little attention in InformationTechnology ethics to respect for persons, either as an ethical issue or as a core value of IT ethics or as a conceptual tool for discussing ethical issues of IT. In this, IT ethics is very different from another field of applied ethics, bioethics, where respect is a core value and conceptual tool. This paper argues that there is value in thinking about ethical issues related to information technologies, especially, though (...) not exclusively, issues concerning identity and identity management, explicitly in terms of respect for persons understood as a core value of IT ethics. After explicating respect for persons, the paper identifies a number of ways in which putting the concept of respect for persons explicitly at the center of both IT practice and IT ethics could be valuable, then examines some of the implicit and problematic assumptions about persons, their identities, and respect that are built into the design, implementation, and use of information technologies and are taken for granted in discussions in IT ethics. The discussion concludes by asking how better conceptions of respect for persons might be better employed in IT contexts or brought better to bear on specific issues concerning identity in IT contexts. (shrink)
It is a truism that the design and deployment of information and communication technologies is vital to everyday life, the conduct of work and to social order. But how are individual, organisational and societal choices made? What might it mean to invoke a politics and an ethics of informationtechnology design and use? This editorial paper situates these questions within the trajectory of preoccupations and approaches to the design and deployment of informationtechnology since computerisation (...) began in the 1940s. Focusing upon the dominant concerns over the last three decades, the paper delineates an interest in design and use in relation to socio-technical theories, situated practices and actor-network theory. It is argued that each of these approaches is concerned with a particular form of politics that does not explicitly engage with ethics. In order to introduce ethics into contemporary debates about informationtechnology, and to frame the papers in the special issue, it is argued that Levinas’ ethics is particularly valuable in problematising the relationship between politics and ethics. Levinas provides a critique of modernity’s emphasis on politics and the egocentric self. It is from a Levinasian concern with the Other and the primacy of the ethical that a general rethinking of the relationship between politics, ethics and justice in relation to information and communication technologies can be invoked. (shrink)
Within a given conversation or information exchange, do privacy expectations change based on the technology used? Firms regularly require users, customers, and employees to shift existing relationships onto new informationtechnology, yet little is known as about how technology impacts established privacy expectations and norms. Coworkers are asked to use new informationtechnology, users of gmail are asked to use GoogleBuzz, patients and doctors are asked to record health records online, etc. Understanding how (...) privacy expectations change, if at all, and the mechanisms by which such a variance is produced will help organizations make such transitions. This paper examines whether and how privacy expectations change based on the technological platform of an information exchange. The results suggest that privacy expectations are significantly distinct when the information exchange is located on a novel technology as compared to a more established technology. Furthermore, this difference is best explained when modeled by a shift in privacy expectations rather than fully technology-specific privacy norms. These results suggest that privacy expectations online are connected to privacy offline with a different base privacy expectation. Surprisingly, out of the five locations tested, respondents consistently assign information on email the greatest privacy protection. In addition, while undergraduate students differ from non-undergraduates when assessing a social networking site, no difference is found when judging an exchange on email. In sum, the findings suggest that novel technology may introduce temporary conceptual muddles rather than permanent privacy vacuums. The results reported here challenge conventional views about how privacy expectations differ online versus offline. Traditionally, management scholarship examines privacy online or with a specific new technology platform in isolation and without reference to the same information exchange offline. However, in the present study, individuals appear to have a shift in their privacy expectations but retain similar factors and their relative importance—the privacy equation by which they form judgments—across technologies. These findings suggest that privacy scholarship should make use of existing privacy norms within contexts when analyzing and studying privacy in a new technological platform. (shrink)
Ethical reflection on drone fighting suggests that this practice does not only create physical distance, but also moral distance: far removed from one’s opponent, it becomes easier to kill. This paper discusses this thesis, frames it as a moral-epistemological problem, and explores the role of informationtechnology in bridging and creating distance. Inspired by a broad range of conceptual and empirical resources including ethics of robotics, psychology, phenomenology, and media reports, it is first argued that drone fighting, like (...) other long-range fighting, creates epistemic and moral distance in so far as ‘screenfighting’ implies the disappearance of the vulnerable face and body of the opponent and thus removes moral-psychological barriers to killing. However, the paper also shows that this influence is at least weakened by current surveillance technologies, which make possible a kind of ‘empathic bridging’ by which the fighter’s opponent on the ground is re-humanized, re-faced, and re-embodied. This ‘mutation’ or unintended ‘hacking’ of the practice is a problem for drone pilots and for those who order them to kill, but revealing its moral-epistemic possibilities opens up new avenues for imagining morally better ways of technology-mediated fighting. (shrink)
Information technologies (IT) play a criticalrole in transforming public administration andredefining the role of bureaucracy in ademocratic society. New applications of ITbring great promises for government, but at thesame time raise concerns about administrativepower and its abuse. Using GeographicInformation Systems (GIS) as the centralexample, this paper provides the philosophicalunderpinnings of the role of technology anddiscusses the importance of an ethicaldiscourse in IT for public serviceprofessionals. Such ethical discourse must bebased on upholding the democratic values andpreserving the institutional integrity (...) of ITprofessionals in public office. (shrink)
Censorship in the area of public health has become increasingly important in many parts of the world for a number of reasons. Groups with vested interest in public health policy are motivated to censor material. As governments, corporations, and organizations champion competing visions of public health issues, the more incentive there may be to censor. This is true in a number of circumstances: curtailing access to information regarding the health and welfare of soldiers in the Kuwait and Iraq wars, (...) poor health conditions in Aboriginal communities, downplaying epidemics to bolster economies, and so forth. This paper will look at the use of a computer worm (the benevolent health worm) to disseminate vital information in␣situations where public health is threatened by government censorship and where there is great risk for those who ‹speak out’. The discussion of the benevolent health worm is focused on the Peoples’ Republic of China (China) drawing on three public health crises: HIV/AIDS, SARS and Avian Influenza. Ethical issues are examined first in a general fashion and then in a specific manner which uses the duty-based moral philosophy of Confucianism and a Western human rights-based analysis. Technical, political and legal issues will also be examined to the extent that they better inform the ethical debate. (shrink)
Heidegger’s thoughts on modern technology have received much attention in many disciplines and fields, but, with a few exceptions, the influence has been sparse in biomedical ethics. The reason for this might be that Heidegger’s position has been misinterpreted as being generally hostile towards modern science and technology, and the fact that Heidegger himself never subjected medical technologies to scrutiny but was concerned rather with industrial technology and informationtechnology. In this paper, Heidegger’s philosophy (...) of modern technology is introduced and then brought to bear on medical technology. Its main relevance for biomedical ethics is found to be that the field needs to focus upon epistemological and ontological questions in the philosophy of medicine related to the structure and goal of medical practice. Heidegger’s philosophy can help us to see how the scientific attitude in medicine must always be balanced by and integrated into a phenomenological way of understanding the life-world concerns of patients. The difference between the scientific and the phenomenological method in medicine is articulated by Heidegger as two different ways of studying the human body: as biological organism and as lived body. Medicine needs to acknowledge the priority of the lived body in addressing health as a way of being-in-the-world and not as the absence of disease only. A critical development of Heidegger’s position can provide us with a criterion for distinguishing the uses of medical technologies that are compatible with such an endeavor from the technological projects that are not. (shrink)
I describe the emergence of Floridi’s philosophy of information (PI) and information ethics (IE) against the larger backdrop of Information and Computer Ethics (ICE). Among their many strengths, PI and IE offer promising metaphysical and ethical frameworks for a global ICE that holds together globally shared norms with the irreducible differences that define local cultural and ethical traditions. I then review the major defenses and critiques of PI and IE offered by contributors to this special issue, (...) and highlight Floridi’s responses to especially two central problems – the charge of relativism and the meaning of ‹entropy’ in IE. These responses, conjoined with several elaborations of PI and IE offered here by diverse contributors, including important connections with the naturalistic philosophies of Spinoza and other major Western and Eastern figures, thus issue in an expanded and more refined version of PI and IE – one still facing important questions as well as possibilities for further development. (shrink)
The potential contributions information and communication technology (ICT) can make to advancing human capabilities are acknowledged by both the capability approach (CA) and ICT communities. However, there is a lack of genuine engagement between the two communities. This paper addresses the question: How can a collaborative dialogue between the CA and ICT communities be advanced? A prerequisite to exploring collaboratively the potential use of particular technologies with specific capabilities is a conceptual framework within which a dialogue can be (...) undertaken to advance the operationalization of capabilities through the use of ICT. A communicative connection constituted of a dialogic space consisting of the CA and ICT communities and a set of normative values and objectives is proposed. The normative values of the communicative connection are derived from the human right to communicate (RTC) which serves as axiomatic principle of the communicative connection. The shared objectives are to operationalize through the use of ICT both the capability and the right to communicate, which are distinct but present in and reinforce each other. Alternative concepts of communication and freedom of expression to those held by the two communities is presented along with a comparison of the values embodied in the RTC and found in the CA. (shrink)
Contemporary health care relies on electronic devices. These technologies are not ethically neutral but change the practice of care. In light of Sennett’s work and that of other thinkers (Dewey, Dreyfus, Borgmann) one worry is that “e-care”—care by means of new information and communication technologies—does not promote skilful and careful engagement with patients and hence is neither conducive to the quality of care nor to the virtues of the care worker. Attending to the kinds of knowledge involved in care (...) work and their moral significance, this paper explores what “craftsmanship” means in the context of medicine and health care and discusses whether today the care giver’s craftsmanship is eroded. It is argued that this is a real danger, especially under modern conditions and in the case of telecare, but that whether it happens, and to what extent it happens, depends on whether in a specific practice and given a specific technology e-carers can develop the know-how and skill to engage more intensely with those under their care and to cooperate with their co-workers. (shrink)
This paper argues that the accelerating pace of life is reducing the time for thoughtful reflection, and in particular for contemplative scholarship, within the academy. It notes that the loss of time to think is occurring at exactly the moment when scholars, educators, and students have gained access to digital tools of great value to scholarship. It goes on to explore how and why both of these facts might be true, what it says about the nature of scholarship, and what (...) might be done to address this state of affairs. (shrink)
The emerging concern about software piracy and illegal or unauthorized use of informationtechnology and software has been evident in the media and open literature for the last few years. In the course of conducting their academic assignments, the authors began to compare observations from classroom experiences related to ethics in the use of software and informationtechnology and systems. Qualitatively and anecdotally, it appeared that many if not most, students had misconceptions about what represented ethical (...) and unethical behaviors in these realms. Clearly, one can argue that if college students are uncertain about what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behavior then this uncertainty will be carried forward into their workplaces upon graduation. Furthermore, if their workplaces don't provide ethics training as a component of a new employee orientation program, one can project a potential for unintentional violations and infringements of copyrights and law in the field. This study was conducted among graduate and undergraduate students to gain insight into their attitudes, perceptions and understanding of some of the relevant ethics issues. A questionnaire of 11 statements was employed that described ubiquitous but most likely unethical (or surely dubious) behaviors in the prevailing business and academic environments. Each respondent was asked to evaluate each statement twice (once for “self” and once for “colleague”) on a five-option highly ethical (5) to neutral (3) to highly unethical (1) scale. The statements were worded such that lower instrument score was associated with higher ethical responses. The questionnaire's two-part structure was designed to solicit honest answers. The encouraging learning from this study was that the overall sample and its various sub-samples did not consider any of the eleven behaviors to be “ethical” or “highly ethical.” It was also encouraging to note that the overall sample and all sub-samples considered “highly unethical” those behaviors associated with personal privacy or property or outright theft. This indicated that moral judgment and probity prevail. The discouraging learning was that behaviors associated with the use of enterprise property were viewed as “neutral” i.e., neither “ethical” nor “unethical.” These findings suggested confusion and lack of clarity and definition around workplace deportment as it regards ethics in software and informationtechnology use. The current study suggests that additional research needs to be conducted to define and clarify the issues, which in turn can form the basis for programs to rectify or at least ameliorate the situation. (shrink)
This study is an extension of our recent ethics research in direct marketing (2003) and informationtechnology (2007). In this study, we investigated the relationships among core organizational values, organizational ethics, corporate social responsibility, and organizational performance outcome. Our analysis of online survey responses from a sample of IT professionals in the United States indicated that managers from organizations with organic core values reported a higher level of social responsibility relative to managers in organizations with mechanistic values; that (...) managers in both mechanistic and organic organizations which were perceived as more socially responsible were also perceived as more ethical; and that perceived ethical attitudes and social responsibility were significantly associated with organizational performance outcome measures. Our article discusses research premises, conceptual framework, hypotheses, research methodology, data analysis, recommendations for further research, and conclusions. (shrink)
This paper summarizes the results of an analysis of empirical data on ethical attitudes of professionals and managers in relation to organizational core values in the InformationTechnology (IT) industry. This study investigates the association between key organizational values as independent variables and the ethical attitudes of IT managers as dependent variables. The study also delves into differences among IT non-managerial professionals, mid-level managers, and upper-level managers in their ethical attitudes and perceptions. Research results indicated that IT professionals (...) from mechanistic organizations were much more likely to report – compared to those from organic organizations – that managers in their corporate environment engage in behaviors considered unethical and that successful managers were more unethical relative to unsuccessful managers. There were significant differences between the upper-level managers and the mid-level managers and between the mid-level managers and the IT non-managerial professionals on certain key ethical issues. This paper discusses the conceptual framework, hypotheses, research methodology, data analysis, implications of the findings, and suggested areas of further research. (shrink)
New forms of informationtechnology, such as email, webpages and groupware, are being rapidly adopted. Intended to improve efficiency and effectiveness, these technologies also have the potential to radically alter the way people communicate in organizations. The effects can be positive or negative. This paper explores how technology can encourage or discourage moral dialogue -- communication that is open, honest, and respectful of participants. It develops a framework that integrates formal properties of ideal moral discourse, based (...) on Habermas' (1984) theory of communicative action, with properties of informal communication that help sustain good moral conversations (Bird, 1996; Johannesen, 1996). Ten criteria distilled from these works form the basis of a template that can be used for assessing the positive and negative impacts of emerging information technologies on moral dialogue. (shrink)
A model of informationtechnology (IT) ethical work climates is presented. Using these ethical work climates and data collected from a national mail survey of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) members, empirical measures were developed and evaluated. A mailing of 2446 questionnaires was sent to ACM members and 136 usable responses were returned (5.6%). Using these data, an exploratory factor analysis was performed using principle components analysis to identify the IT ethical work climates from the data. Six of (...) these work climates were identified as predicted by the model. Two ethical work climates that were combinations of the proposed climates were also identified.From the results of the exploratory factor analysis, a confirmatory factor analysis was performed using Calis in PC SAS version 8. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the overall fit of these measures to the data and evaluate the psychometric properties of the measures. The fit of the IT ethical work climates model was acceptable. The psychometric properties of these measures were good. Based on these results, conclusions, limitations of the study, and directions for future research are proposed. (shrink)
By the very nature of informationtechnology (IT), change and dynamism have always been significant drivers on its path to further development—and it has traditionally been the Western countries leading these. Now the picture is changing. The new high growth economies of the world (also known as BRIC countries) are increasingly pressing forward as active IT development drivers. Internal IT organizations of international companies are experiencing these global shifts firsthand and are facing changes in their traditional roles. This (...) exploratory research is aimed at clarifying the context of the impact of high growth economies on such IT departments of Western-rooted enterprises. Forty-six interviews were conducted with IT managers, HR managers and expatriates emphasizing the importance of intercultural interaction, maturing IT economies, change in IT landscape and entrepreneurship. (shrink)
In this paper, the concept of Human-Centred Technology will be described with regard to the different dimensions of workplace, groupwork and networks and in terms of the frameworks of both society and the natural environment. These different aspects of Human-Centred Systems will be illustrated by a series of case studies representing several European countries. The report covers a wide range of research fields. The emphasis is on technology: the roles of control and informationtechnology in enterprises (...) today â including issues of applying AI â and the strategies of designing and implementing technology taking into account the specific aspects which characterize human-centred systems. (shrink)
Food insecurity, and its extreme form, hunger, occur whenever the accessibility to an adequate supply of nutritional and safe foods becomes restricted or unpredictable. They are recurring problems in certain regions of the US, as well as in many parts of the world. According to nation-wide surveys conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, between 1996 and 1998 an estimated 9.7% of US households were classified as food insecure (6.2% being food insecure without evidence of hunger, and 3.5% being (...) food insecure with moderate to severe hunger). This means that approximately 10 million households each year did not always have access to enough food to meet basic needs. A potential tool in the fight against food insecurity and hunger is informationtechnology (IT), since its use and range of application continue to grow at astonishing rates. The study presented here examined the question of how informationtechnology, particularly the Internet, can be used to promote food security. The study used an action science research approach, and a case study strategy, with the food security system of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi selected as the case for study. The research design was a two-phase process. Phase one consisted of a needs assessment among food assistance organizations in Oktibbeha County, and included interviews of key food assistance personnel. Phase one also included a survey of IT subject matter experts to seek their opinions about the current state of Web-based informationtechnology. Phase two involved an analysis of various IT implementation issues, as well as the development of a Web-based food security information system prototype tool. The needs assessment results indicated that (a) certain food security system and information needs existed among the food assistance organizations in Oktibbeha County, and (b) appropriate information technologies existed that could be applied to these needs. The food security needs related to better communication and coordination of information, such as program information, food site inventory information, client history information, food donation information, and nutrition education information. In regard to technology development, a variety of scenarios were examined. These included client-side approaches, server-side approaches, simple e-mail-based systems, Java-based systems, systems based on the Common Gateway Interface (CGI), and commercial database systems. In applying the needs assessment and survey results, the researcher developed a prototype Web site (including a series of online database tools) that could be used to promote food security in counties such as Oktibbeha County. The results of this research show that appropriate, Internet-based, IT holds promise for the reduction of certain social problems, such as food insecurity and hunger. (shrink)
The social sciences lack concepts and theories for an understanding of what new informationtechnology is doing to our society. The article sketches the outlines of a broad historical and comparative approach to this issue: ‘an anthropology of informationtechnology’. At the base is the idea ofexternalisation of knowledge as a historical process. Three main epochs are characterised by externalisation of knowledge through a) spoken language and a social organisation of specialists, b) writing and c) computer (...) programming. The impact of expert systems on learning is also discussed. (shrink)
This paper looks beyond the mostly technical and business issues that currently inform the design of knowledge-based systems (e.g., expert systems) to point out that there is also a social and organisational (a socio-organisational) dimension to the issues affecting the design decisions of expert systems and other information technologies. It argues that whilst technical and business issues are considered before the design of Expert Systems, that socio-organisational issues determine the acceptance and long-run utility of the technology after it (...) has been implemented. It shows how four issues within the organisation can affect the design or the after-effects of the design and implementation of the technology. It also shows how the four issues can be considered within the structured phases of expert system development. (shrink)
Illusions of control and fantasies of power are important themes in human history and culture. The first objective of this paper is to explore Zarathustran fantasies in the information society, and our dreams of God-like control and mastery over ourselves and the Universe. This paper does not try to be faithful to Nietzschean philosophical concepts of Zarathustra, but instead explore cultural themes, which can be related to a mythology of God-like control and omniscient perception. It draws together strands from (...) science fiction, anthropology, philosophy, technology development, systems engineering, socio-technical systems, finance and e-business to set out how we have fallen for the technocultural illusions we have created. The paper then shifts gear, and in an attempt to address these technocultural problems, identifies an intellectual trajectory centred on an anthropological perspective. Using examples from e-business and Schwartz’s universal model of human values, applied into a technocultural context, the paper shows how it is possible to create meaningful systems of organisation that utilise advanced technologies to help provide a deeply value-laden cultural system. Our world is changing fundamentally and dramatically, and we desperately need new approaches to help us understand these transitions. The paper’s primary contribution is to critique both human-centred thinking, and mechanistic, Taylorist views of organisation and technology. It stimulates debate concerning the relationship between technology and culture as it is worked out in the information society. Shifting the perspective from humans as social, functioning creatures, this paper offers a new human-centred approach based upon humans as cultural, valuing beings. (shrink)
While information technologies present organizations with opportunities to become more competitive, unsettled social norms and lagging legislation guiding the use of these technologies present organizations and individuals with ethical dilemmas. This paper presents two studies investigating the relationship between intellectual property and privacy attitudes, Machiavellianism and Ethical Ideology, and working in R&D and computer literacy in the form of programming experience. In Study 1, Machiavellians believed it was more acceptable to ignore the intellectual property and privacy rights of others. (...) Programmers and R&D workers considered violating intellectual property rights more acceptable. Programmers did not consider violating privacy rights more acceptable, but R&D workers did. Finally, there was an interaction between Machiavellianism, programming and R&D. Machiavellians who also had programming experience or worked in R&D found violations of intellectual property much more acceptable. The effect of Machiavellianism on attitudes toward violations of privacy was enhanced by working in R&D, but not by programming experience. In Study 2, idealists believed it was less acceptable to ignore the intellectual property and privacy rights of others. Relativists found it more acceptable to violate intellectual property rights, though they did not consider it more acceptable to violate privacy rights. Those with programming experience were more accepting of intellectual property rights violations, but not of privacy violations. Finally, programming experience moderated the relationship between idealism, relativism and attitudes toward these unethical information practices. Implications for diminishing unethical behavior among Machiavellians, Relativists, programmers and those in R&D are discussed. (shrink)
Teaching about technology, at all levels of education, can only be done properly when those who teach have a clear idea about what it is that they teach. In other words: they should be able to give a decent answer to the question: what is technology? In the philosophy of technology that question is explored. Therefore the philosophy of technology is a discipline with a high relevance for those who teach about technology. Literature (...) in this field, though, is not always easy to access for non-philosophers. This book provides an introduction to the philosophy of technology for such people. It offers a survey of the current state-of-affairs in the philosophy of technology, and also discusses the relevance of that for teaching about technology. The book can be used in introductory courses on the philosophy of technology in teacher education programs, engineering education programs, and by individual educators that are interested in the intriguing phenomenon of technology that is so important in our contemporary society. (shrink)
Ideal for undergraduate students in philosophy and science studies, Philosophy of Technology offers an engaging and comprehensive overview of a subject vital to our time. An up-to-date, accessible overview of the philosophy of technology, defining technology and its characteristics. Explores the issues that arise as technology becomes an integral part of our society. In addition to traditional topics in science and technology studies, the volume offers discussion of technocracy, the romantic rebellion against (...)technology. Complements The Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition: An Anthology, edited by Robert C. Scharff and Val Dusek (Blackwell, 2003). (shrink)
This paper will address the question of the morality of technology. I believe this is an important question for our contemporary society in which technology, especially informationtechnology, is increasingly becoming the default mode of social ordering. I want to suggest that the conventional manner of conceptualising the morality of technology is inadequate – even dangerous. The conventional view of technology is that technology represents technical means to achieve social ends. Thus, the moral (...) problem of technology, from this perspective, is the way in which the given technical means are applied to particular (good or bad) social ends. In opposition to this I want to suggest that the assumed separation, of this approach, between technical means and social ends are inappropriate. It only serves to hide the most important political and ethical dimensions of technology. I want to suggest that the morality of technology is much more embedded and implicit than such a view would suggest. In order to critique this approach I will draw on phenomenology and the more recent work of Bruno Latour. With these intellectual resources in mind I will propose disclosive ethics as a way to make the morality of technology visible. I will give a brief account of this approach and show how it might guide our␣understanding of the ethics and politics of technology by considering two examples of contemporary informationtechnology: search engines and plagiarism detection systems. (shrink)
What does it mean to think about technology philosophically? Why try? These are the issues that Carl Mitcham addresses in this work, a comprehensive, critical introduction to the philosophy of technology and a discussion of its sources and uses. Tracing the changing meaning of "technology" from ancient times to our own, Mitcham identifies the most important traditions of critical analysis of technology: the engineering approach, which assumes the centrality of technology in human life and (...) the humanities approach, which is concerned with its moral and cultural boundaries. Mitcham bridges these two traditions through an analysis of discussions of engineering design, of the distinction between tools and machines, and of engineering science itself. He looks at technology as it is experienced in everyday life--as material objects (from kitchenware to computers), as knowledge ( including recipes, rules, theories, and intuitive "know-how"), as activity (design, construction, and use), and as volition (knowing how to use technology and understanding its consequences). By elucidating these multiple aspects, Mitcham establishes criteria for a more comprehensive analysis of ethical issues in applications of science and technology. This book will guide anyone wanting to reflect on technology and its moral implications. (shrink)
This collection of essays examines the philosophical and cultural aspects of technology. The issues range widely - from quantum technology to problems of technology and culture in a developing country and contributors approach the issues from a variety of perspectives. The volume includes case-studies, and also more theoretical pieces which consider the fundamental question of whether technology should be perceived as a force for liberation or enslavement. The volume aims to stimulate debate about the relation between (...)technology and philosophy and society in general, and to open a field of enquiry that has been relatively neglected. Written in an accessible style, the contributions are intended equally for philosophers exploring the novel problems arising in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but also for technologists interested in the philosophical implications of their work. (shrink)
The first half of the book concentrates on key definitions and epistemological issues, including an overview of philosophy as applied to technology, a definition of technology, and an examination of technology as it relates to practical and ...
A Managerial Philosophy of Technology offers a unique combination of a review of academic work in the philosophy of technology with practical methodologies for business management of technology strategy.
The volume advances research in the philosophy of technology by introducing contributors who have an acute sense of how to get beyond or reframe the epistemic, ontological and normative limitations that currently limit the fields of philosophy of technology and science and technology studies.
The volume advances research in the philosophy of technology by introducing contributors who have an acute sense of how to get beyond or reframe the epistemic, ontological and normative limitations that currently limit the fields of philosophy of technology and science and technology studies.
Taking insights from the philosophy of science and technology, theories of participatory democracy and Critical Theory, the author tackles and explores how democratic participation in scientific research and technological innovation could be possible, as a deliberative means of improving the rational basis for the development of modern society.