Response to commentators of “a critique of positive responsibility”

Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (1):11-18 (2009)
It has been claimed that (1) computer professionals should be held responsible for an undisclosed list of “undesirable events” associated with their work and (2) most if not all computer disasters can be avoided by truly understanding responsibility. Commentators of “A Critique of Positive Responsibility in Computing” argue that this is not Donald Gotterbarn’s view (Gotterbarn, JSEE 14(2):235–239, 2008) but that a critique of the view nevertheless raises significant moral issues within computing such as the ethical goals of a computing profession, the appropriate ethical stance toward bugs, and the public good with respect to computing (Miller, JSEE 14(2):245–249, 2008). Commentators also argue that “A Critique”’s “profitable misreading” demonstrates the “moral ecology” of organizations “dedicated narrowly to financial success” and that other “moral ecologies” that are customer or quality driven can be shown to be more important or preeminent (Huff, JSEE 14(2):241–244, 2008). It is argued here that (1) the hyper-inflated reading of Gotterbarn’s and Ladd’s views on positive responsibility persists despite Gotterbarn’s explicit rejection of it, and that (2) such a reading of positive responsibility cannot be placed within a single moral ecology, nor can a single moral ecology be shown to be any more important or preeminent than others.
Keywords Altruism  Computer Ethics  Positive Responsibility  Professionalism  Responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-008-9101-6
 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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,641
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
Ethics.James Fieser - 2003 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Critique of Positive Responsibility in Computing.James A. Stieb - 2008 - Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (2):219-233.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Informatics and Professional Responsibility.Donald Gotterbarn - 2001 - Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (2):221-230.
Limits on Patient Responsibility.Maureen Kelley - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (2):189 – 206.
Moral Responsibility and the Ability to Do Otherwise.Gordon Pettit - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Research 30:303-319.
The Responsibility of the Psychopath Revisited.Neil Levy - 2007 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):pp. 129-138.
Trust and Managerial Responsibility.Edward Soule - 1998 - Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (2):249-272.
Free Will and Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer - 2004 - In D. Copps (ed.), Handbook on Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press.
A Critique of Positive Responsibility in Computing.James A. Stieb - 2008 - Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (2):219-233.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

16 ( #294,855 of 2,158,194 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #356,322 of 2,158,194 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums