Sorting Out the Uniqueness of Computer-Ethical Issues
Johnson, Deborah G.
In this paper I build on Moor's idea that the task of computer ethics is to fill policy vacuum's created by the introduction of computer and information technology. The traditionalist account proposes that to solve computer ethical issues (and fill the policy vacuums) all we have to do is apply traditional moral norms and principles. I argue against this position and propose instead that we think of computer ethical issues as new species of generic moral problems. Computer technology changes the instrumentation of human action. The new instrumentation changes the composition of action and it creates the possibility of actions and arrangements that were not possible before. Ethical analysis has not traditionally or explicitly focused on the instrumentation of action. Human action instrumented with computer technology is, nevertheless, human action. The ethical issues that arise can be understood in traditional moral terms though they often have features that are new and unusual. The ethical issues are new species of traditional moral issues.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
I (1999) 2
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Deborah G. Johnson, "Sorting Out the Uniqueness of Computer-Ethical Issues", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, I (1999) 2