Ethics, Technology, and Values
Robert C. Solomon in Morality and the Good Life (1) gives a traditional philosophical definition of ethics as a set of “theories of value, virtue, or of right (valuable) action.” Johnson elaborates Solomon’s definition by defining ethics as a set of theories “that provide general rules or principles to be used in making moral decisions and, unlike ordinary intuitions, provides a justification for those rules” (2). The word “ethics” comes from an ancient Greek word eché (1), which means character. Every human society, whether civilized or primitive, practices ethics because every society attaches a value, on a continuum of good to bad, right to wrong, to an individual’s actions according to where that individual’s actions fall within the domain of that society’s rules and canons. An individual’s actions collectively define that individual’s character and thus a set of good actions denotes good character and vice versa. There are many different kinds of ethical theories, and within each theory there may be different versions of that theory.
KeywordsEthical Theory Professional Work Functional Definition Computer Ethic Computer Professional
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