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Ethics of responsibilities distributions in a technological culture


In this paper, I develop and differentiate some problems of the interaction between corporations, individuals and the general public as well as institutions like the state or international non-governmental organizations as well as super-national organizations. Firms or corporations are nowadays much more international than they used to be; they are typically multinational enterprises giving rise to special transnational problems of transactions, interchanges and—indeed also—responsibilities ranging over national borders and restricted areas. In our culture, we have to deal with rather ramified types of individual and collective as well as specific corporate responsibilities tending to reach out beyond national borders, specific state law restrictions and even business systems and economies. The traditional personal and individual responsibility and their different forms will not do to cope with all the respective international, intercultural and inter-sectoral problems of modern corporations and their international interactions. In the paper, I have also discussed the question: Do multinational organizations and corporations have a sort of specific corporate responsibility, and if so, against whom and for what—except for their share- and stakeholders?

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  1. Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model (ISO 26000—Social responsibility), and (Accessed on Nov 21 2015).

  2. Directive/374/EEC—liability for defective products. (Accessed on Nov 21 2015).

  3. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, USA) IEEE CODE OF ETHICS (Accessed on Nov 21, 2015).


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The paper is of enormous significance to the special issue “Philosophy of Technological Culture” in several ways. The ethics of responsibilities distributions play a crucial role in enforcing a paradigm in the critical development of science and technology which seems to open a perspective for the philosophy of technology and culture. The ethics of responsibilities distributions is of vital importance for our technological culture—Note from the Guest Editor.

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Correspondence to Hans Lenk.

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Lenk, H. Ethics of responsibilities distributions in a technological culture. AI & Soc 32, 219–231 (2017).

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  • Moral
  • Responsibility
  • Ethics
  • Technology
  • Culture