Solutions to the problem ofprotecting informational privacy in cyberspacetend to fall into one of three categories:technological solutions, self-regulatorysolutions, and legislative solutions. In thispaper, I suggest that the legal protection ofthe right to online privacy within the USshould be strengthened. Traditionally, inidentifying where support can be found in theUS Constitution for a right to informationalprivacy, the point of focus has been on theFourth Amendment; protection in this contextfinds its moral basis in personal liberty,personal dignity, self-esteem, and othervalues. On the other hand, (...) the constitutionalright to privacy first established by Griswoldv. Connecticut finds its moral basis largelyin a single value, the value of autonomy ofdecision-making. I propose that an expandedconstitutional right to informational privacy,responsive to the escalating threats posed toonline privacy by developments in informationaltechnology, would be more likely to find asolid moral basis in the value of autonomyassociated with the constitutional right toprivacy found in Griswold than in the varietyof values forming the moral basis for the rightto privacy backed by the Fourth Amendment. (shrink)
This co-edited volume compares Chinese and Western experiences of engineering, technology, and development. In doing so, it builds a bridge between the East and West and advances a dialogue in the philosophy of engineering. Divided into three parts, the book starts with studies on epistemological and ontological issues, with a special focus on engineering design, creativity, management, feasibility, and sustainability. Part II considers relationships between the history and philosophy of engineering, and includes a general argument for the necessity of dialogue (...) between history and philosophy. It continues with a general introduction to traditional Chinese attitudes toward engineering and technology, and philosophical case studies of the Chinese steel industry, railroads, and cybernetics in the Soviet Union. Part III focuses on engineering, ethics, and society, with chapters on engineering education and practice in China and the West. The book’s analyses of the interactions of science, engineering, ethics, politics, and policy in different societal contexts are of special interest. The volume as a whole marks a new stage in the emergence of the philosophy of engineering as a new regionalization of philosophy. This carefully edited interdisciplinary volume grew out of an international conference on the philosophy of engineering hosted by the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. It includes 30 contributions by leading philosophers, social scientists, and engineers from Australia, China, Europe, and the United States. (shrink)
Philosophers and others concerned with the moral good of personal privacy most often see threats to privacy raised by the development of pervasive computing as primarily being threats to the loss of control over personal information. Two reasons in particular lend this approach plausibility. One reason is that the parallels between pervasive computing and ordinary networked computing, where everyday transactions over the Internet raise concerns about personal information privacy, appear stronger than their differences. Another reason is that the individual devices (...) which can become linked in a pervasive computing environment: PDAs, GPS sensors, RFID chips/readers, publicly-located video surveillance cameras, Internet-enabled mobile phones, and the like, each raise threats to individual privacy. Without discounting the value of this approach, this paper aims to propose an alternative; and, as a result of recasting the threat to individual privacy from pervasive computing, to identify other, and deeper, moral goods that pervasive computing puts at risk that otherwise might remain concealed. In particular, I argue that pervasive computing threatens to compromise what I call existential autonomy: the right to decide for ourselves at least some of the existential conditions under which we form and develop our ways of life, including our relations to information technology. From this perspective, some moral goods at stake in protecting privacy in an environment of pervasive computing emerge that have less to do with furthering human well-being through the promotion of self-identity and subjectivity, than with stimulating curiosity, receptivity to difference, and, most broadly, openness to the world. (shrink)
In 2003, Peter Singer and others sounded a warning in the pages of the journal Nanotechnology that research into the ethical, social, and legal implications of nanotechnology was increasingly lagging behind research into nanotechnology itself. More recently, Alfred Nordmann and Arie Rip have argued that while the pace of ELSI inquiry has now picked up, the inquiry itself is focused far too much on hypothetical and futuristic scenarios. But might there be advantages for ethicists and philosophers of technology interested in (...) the ELSI of emerging technologies to continue to think in a speculative vein? Drawing upon some lessons learned from the development of environmental ethics, and looking primarily at information and computing technologies, I suggest three reasons as to how speculative thinking can add value to ELSI reflection. I argue that it can allow for critical values to emerge that might otherwise go unheeded, open up avenues to reframe issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, and, perhaps most importantly, permit questions to be raised that might otherwise go unvoiced. (shrink)
This volume, the result of an ongoing bridge building effort among engineers and humanists, addresses a variety of philosophical, ethical, and policy issues emanating from engineering and technology. Interwoven through its chapters are two themes, often held in tension with one another: “Exploring Boundaries” and “Expanding Connections.” “Expanding Connections” highlights contributions that look to philosophy for insight into some of the challenges engineers face in working with policy makers, lay designers, and other members of the public. It also speaks to (...) reflections included in this volume on the connections between fact and value, reason and emotion, engineering practice and the social good, and, of course, between engineering and philosophy. “Exploring Boundaries” highlights contributions that focus on some type of demarcation. Public policy sets a boundary between what is regulated from what is not, academic disciplines delimit themselves by their subjects and methods of inquiry, and professions approach problems with unique goals and by using concepts and language in particular ways that create potential obstacles to collaboration with other fields. These and other forms of boundary setting are also addressed in this volume. Contributors explore these two themes in a variety of specific contexts, including engineering epistemology, engineers’ social responsibilities, engineering and public policy-making, engineering innovation, and the affective dimensions of engineering work. The book also includes analyses of social and ethical issues with emerging technologies such as 3-D printing and its use in medical applications, as well as social robots. Initial versions of the invited papers included in this book were first presented at the 2014 meeting of the Forum on Philosophy, Engineering, and Technology, held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. The volume furthers fPET’s intent of extending and developing the philosophy of engineering as an academic field, and encouraging conversation, promoting a sense of shared enterprise, and building community among philosophers and engineers across a diversity of cultural backgrounds and approaches to inquiry. (shrink)
Festivals, as Hans-Georg Gadamer once pointed out, differ from other events due to their special temporal structure. They allow whoever participates in them to experience time with reference to its lingering rather than its passing away, by marking off a space between the moments of everyday life--a "while" whose duration refuses to be measured by the clock.
In this book, which received an honorable mention for the Johnsonian Prize in 1981, the author wants to "make Being and Time more readily accessible to non-Heideggerians". Non-Heideggerians, by whom Guignon means philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition, ought to find here that he has done exactly that. Guignon's strategy is to re-work the metaphysically-rooted vocabulary of Being and Time into the language of beliefs, grounds and justifications familiar to the epistemologist. What emerges from this move is a carefully articulated critique (...) which should be unsettling both to non-Heideggerians and Heideggerians alike. (shrink)
Some kinds of technological change not only trigger new ethical problems, but also give rise to questions about those very approaches to addressing ethical problems that have been relied upon in the past. Writing in the aftermath of World War II, Hans Jonas called for a new ``ethics of responsibility,'' based on the reasoning that modern technology dramatically divorces our moral condition from the assumptions under which standard ethical theories were first conceived. Can a similar claim be made about the (...) technologies of cyberspace? Do online information technologies so alter our moral condition that standard ethical theories become ineffective in helping us address the moral problems they create? I approach this question from two angles. First, I look at the impact of online information technologies on our powers of causal efficacy. I then go on to consider their impact on self-identity. We have good reasons, I suggest, to be skeptical of any claim that there is a need for a new, cyberspace ethics to address the moral dilemmas arising from these technologies. I conclude by giving a brief sketch of why this suggestion does not imply there is nothing philosophically interesting about the ethical challenges associated with cyberspace. (shrink)