Justice and Responsibility: on (not) teaching computer and information ethics

Introna, L (2003) Justice and Responsibility: on (not) teaching computer and information ethics. Working Paper. The Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University.

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Can we teach ethics, and if we can how should we do it? Do we want our students to know moral theory or act morally? This paper assumes that the objective of 'teaching ethics' is to cultivate the possibility for moral conduct in the everyday world of institutional life. As teachers we know how to teach moral theory but how do we encourage our students to act morally. To attempt an answer I will present some ideas from the work of Levinas and Derrida. With Levinas I will argue that ethics happens in the singularity of the face of the Other before me 'here and now'. Ethics matter in my everyday contact with the Other that confronts me and claims my response. But what about all other Others simultaneously present? What about justice for all other Others? With Levinas and Derrida I will attempt to articulate the notion of 'caring justice'. In caring justice I want to show how the demands of ethics (the singular) and the demands of justice (all other Others) can become the impossible possibility for a "justice where there is no distinction between those close and those far off, but in which there also remains the impossibility of passing by the closest." Furthermore, I want to argue for the need of Aristotle's notion of ethics as a habit-caring justice as the cultivation of moral character by doing. Finally, to demonstrate what I mean I discuss a singular case of intellectual property right. In this 'case' I try to show how caring justice can help us not to teach ethics, but do it--almost

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11 Jul 2011 21:06
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 01:25