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Technology Ethics Dr.P.Madhu. What happened to technology? Hyper-specialized Globally commercialized Tending to be fully owned by corporates Tendentious.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology Ethics Dr.P.Madhu. What happened to technology? Hyper-specialized Globally commercialized Tending to be fully owned by corporates Tendentious."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology Ethics Dr.P.Madhu

2 What happened to technology? Hyper-specialized Globally commercialized Tending to be fully owned by corporates Tendentious to be autonomously organic!- capable of transforming human sociality & individuality De-materialized!

3 Adorno critically observes technology functioning as an ideology or ideological weapon, and, as such, once more, as a man's instrument of domination by man Adorno comments on the manipulative character of the relations the technology produced

4 Science and technology is understood as an instrument and means of power! Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!

5 Heidegger holds that technology is neither an instrum -ent nor a means, but a connecting element and a kind of armour that models and sets up man accordi ng to its measure and necessity (the technician or the technological individual), and at the same time establi shes reality as an instrument (of accumulation) and as a stock (for consumption).

6 Heidegger observes, the technique can not be seen as potential development of mans hands anymore, but Something different, like a potency or an autonomous power, to which man is nothing but a means or an instrument, and in which, he is captured as an object or raw material when he sets himself up in the network of the technological production of the real

7 For Heidegger the ultimate un-ethics is the da-sein completely thrown into the status of dasman- the un creative everyday human!

8 as science and technique become autonomous, generating the predominance of the techno-sciences, the technique could not be dominated by men; then, the spell turns itself against the wizard, … will install its kingdom on the devastated earth, amidst docile and domesticated human individuals.

9 History of Technology 3 major phases: 1.Steam Machine 2.Internal Combustion Machine 3.Transistor- Chip Telecommunication Biotechnology so far restricted to the material things, showed the power of extending itself to humans themselves, and of taking him as the object of its processes

10 Autonomy of market ensured autonomy of technology Autonomy of technology ensured enslavement of science to technology and market!

11 History of science & technology is said to have under -gone double split: 1.Science is split from morality 2.Technology was split from Science

12 together with this double split, a deep re-directing of science and technique happened in modern times, when they got into the market and submitted them -selves to the business imperatives and to the interest of powerful groups It was then that the blind forces of the market, the reg ulations of politics and the pressures of the reason of State (including the ones with war purposes), interposed and imposed themselves upon the ends and ideals of the techno-sciences

13 It was then that there was the sacrifice of the scientist 's intellectual curiosity and freedom to think, and the e nd of the technologist or techno-bureaucrat's apparen t autonomy, mentioned by Heidegger, once his capac ity for creation and his power to really do things do no t belong to him, the technologist, but to the capital an d its multiple agents.

14 The result is a third split: the split between science and technology in face of society as a whole, when they a re submitted to groups of interest, and are privatised by the market forces, when the sciences - that had ge nerated technology, which is appropriated by the mar ket, together with technology - showed themselves e ntirely impotent, without the slightest possibility of rev ersing this state of things

15 Science exist for technology, and technology for market and market exist for corporates! Science has become the salve to technology, instead of a rational or moral engine as it was expected!

16 While its limitations are passed on to the marginalize d, its benefits accumulated to the affluent and thus ca used a deep social divide.

17 The ethical question! What should we do to humanise technique?

18 The solution may be something related to the three split s mentioned before: 1.Sciences split from morality 2.Technologys split from Science 3.Technology splitted away to accommodate corporat e interests

19 Re-link Science with (secular) morality Re-link Technology with Science Re-link technology to human autonomy (by de-linking it from the corporate interests)

20 The ethics we talk about cannot be just that of an her oic individual- rather it can be a systemic and collecti vist ethics! Because science is no-longer and activity at the back yard of a scientist! Nor, Technology happens at the backyard of a tecnol ogist!

21 Ethics is no longer competence of a heroic individual, rather, it is always redefined collectivist endevour Because science and technology is a collectivist activ ity!

22 As for the re-linking between science and technology, it will demand the scientist to be actively engaged wit h technology, and he, together with the technologist, beyond the market forces and the world of business, will be responsible for defining the courses of techniq ue and science themselves.

23 i.e. Technology ethics demands a P2P(?) world!

24 It is not the Individual or the society but collective ef fervescence that constitute ethics! An ethical world de-mythifies both the individual and the society, and founds co-operatively working colle ctive praxis!- an egoless praxis!

25 Typology of ethics

26 Phenomenology vs positivism For those ethicists that can be called phenomenologists, what is good is given in the situation, derived from the logic and language of the situation, or from dialogue and debate about "goodness" per se. Positivists, on the other hand argue that we should observe the real world and inductively derive ethical principles

27 Rules vs. Consequences (deontologists v s. consequentialists). Ethicists that are in the deontological camp believe good actions result from following the correct rules of behavior, which generally are thought to be universal and applicable to all. These rules are based on religious beliefs, intuition, or aesthetic belief.

28 Consequentialists, in contrast, believe that general rules are not specific enough to guide action, and feel instead that we must look to the consequences of our actions, and take those actions which produce the best results or consequences

29 Individuals vs. Collectivities (micro vs. macro levels). Ethicists differ on the locus of moral authority even as they agree individual decision making is the proper subject of ethics moral authority is located in the individual who through selfanalysis and reflection comes to develop a set or rules, or engages in an analysis of selfinterest.

30 Others argue that moral authority must be located in larger collectivities -- the organization, society or polity The former allows individuals to set their own rules, their ethics, regardless of society. The latter introduces a potential moral relativism of a different sort: whatever the group believes is best becomes the rule.


32 Collective phenomenologists From this perspective answer: "Should I throw beer cans on the road as I drive along, Is it OK to hack a softwareIs it OK to tap a telephone conversation

33 Individual- phenomenologists This school argues that individuals shall come to know what is right by looking inward to universal and timeless rules derived from their religious belief, intuitions about "rightness," and self analysis From this perspective answer:"Should I throw beer cans on the road as I drive along,Is it OK to hack a softwareIs it OK to tap a telephone conversation

34 Collective Consequentialists UtilitarianIs it OK to hack a softwareIs it OK to tap a telephone conversation "Should I throw beer cans on the road as I drive along,

35 Individual Consequentialists From this perspective answer:"Should I throw beer cans on the road as I drive along,Is it OK to hack a softwareIs it OK to tap a telephone conversationI want unobstructed freedom, but I will obstruct yours

36 Most classical and contemporary ethicists argue, for instance, that ethics involves the choices of fiee people, who are informed and rational. All agree that under these conditions, individuals are responsible, accountable, and liable, and that a good society is one in which due process obtains, that is, there is a fair and impartial process exists for determining responsibility, accountability and liability

37 Individual Vs collective ethics! "formal organizations are not moral persons, and have no moral responsibilities, they have no moral rights" (Ladd, 1970) Now, more than individuals the corporations decide life! Then, there can be no moral order? Is personal ethics still relevant?

38 Such organizations are told by their mentor gurus: "there is one and only one responsibility of business.... to increase its profits Friedman, 1965; 1970 These large organizations gradually own every technology! They thus act as individuals! – Owner individuals with special rights.

39 What is the moral significance of such statements :"Computers flatten hierarchies"Computers eliminate the need for middle managersIt is a computer errorIs computer a moral agent?

40 An ethics of information systems is impossible without an understanding of how information technologies affect human choice, human action, and human potential.

41 Technology, in other words, does not stand "outside" of society, acting upon it, but instead technology--its manufacturers, benefactors, users--is a social phenomenon itself subject to all the constraints of other social actors. Among these constraints is the notion of social responsibility: you can and will be held accountable for your actions.

42 But- who are YOU? In the corporate world? Do you have an agency power? Or just a pon in the corporate games?- where the corporate is not a person! Are the corporates emerge into uncontrollable organisms? Can there be any collective democratic action to demand corporate ethics? Technology ethics?

43 Can deliberate democracy be possible in technology management? If not possible, it makes ethics impossible in technology! What can be done?

44 five major constellations of issues in IT et hical space (1) information rights and obligations,(2) property rights and obligations,(3) system quality,(4) accountability and control, and(5) quality of life.

45 4 significant levels where ethical issues ar ise IndividualOrganization/ corporatePolitySociety ( note: this classification is becoming unrealistic! The corporate organism is swallowing the rest!) For the time being let us assume they exist with equal strength- just to think about a possible ethical order!

46 A contract is possible only when signatories of the contract willfully agree upon the contents of the contract! Local variant of the macro- contract! Manufactured consent? Will of the Leviathan?

47 Bad ethics 1: Infringe on privacy Because information technology creates new opportunities to deny privacy and inhibit access to information, ethical questions are posed to individuals and larger collectivities

48 Bad ethics 2. Denying right to information Can a closed source software be ready to respect its users right to information?

49 Bad ethics 3: Property rights Does the new technology infringe on individual property right? Right to alter, modify, share?... Are the trade secret, copyright, and patent law ethical? Both for and against arguers cry fowl!

50 Bad ethics 4: no one is accountable! Who is responsible if a software caused injury to some one? new information technologies are challenging existing liability law and social practices for holding individuals and institutions accountable

51 The mother of all bad ethics: turning human beings into bare- life!

52 About the content of IT! Intercultural Information Ethics (IIE) It deals with the impact of information and communic ation technology (ICT) on different cultures as well as with the discussion on ICT from different cultural pers pectives.

53 IEE concerns are privacy, Piracy Cyber crime intellectual property, online communities, governmentality, gender issues, mobile phones, health care, and the digital divide

54 IEE concerns How the computers work the same way everywhere though they are embedded in different cultural and m oral contexts which means that there is not such a thi ng as a neutral technology. the mutual influence between culture and technology at an inter- as well as at a trans-cultural level

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