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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Phenomenological Approaches to Ethics and Information Technology

Lucas Introna
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Here is an excerpt:

3.1 The Impact of Information Technology and the Application of Ethical Theory

Much of the ethical debate about computers and information technology more generally has been informed by the tool and impact view of information technology (discussed in section 1.1 above). Within this tradition a number of issues have emerged as important. For example, whether computers (or information and communication technology more generally) generate new types of ethical problems that require new or different ethical theories or whether it is just more of the same (Gorniak 1996). These debates are often expressed in the language of the impact of information technology on particular values and rights (Johnson 1985, 1994). Thus, within this approach we have discussions about the impact of CCTV or web cookies on the right to privacy, the impact of the digital divide on the right to access information, the impact of the piracy of software on property rights, and so forth. In these debates Jim Moor (1985) has argued that computers show up policy vacuums that require new thinking and the establishment of new policies. Others have argued that the resources provided by classical ethical theory such as utilitarianism, consequentialism and deontological ethics is more than enough to deal with all the ethical issues emerging from our design and use of information technology (Gert 1999).

The entry is here.

Editor's Note: Yes, I use the cut and paste function frequently, and in this entry as well.