Cyberethics: Social and Moral Issues in the Computer Age / Edition 1

Cyberethics: Social and Moral Issues in the Computer Age / Edition 1

by Robert M. Baird
     
 

ISBN-10: 1573927902

ISBN-13: 9781573927901

Pub. Date: 04/28/2000

Publisher: Prometheus Books

The amazing transformation of society brought about by the wide dispersion of computers has given rise to new moral dilemmas. With the rapid development of this technology, the impact of computers on privacy, personal identity, intellectual property, and the form and practice of democracy is becoming more apparent every day. Inevitably, this penetration of computer

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Overview

The amazing transformation of society brought about by the wide dispersion of computers has given rise to new moral dilemmas. With the rapid development of this technology, the impact of computers on privacy, personal identity, intellectual property, and the form and practice of democracy is becoming more apparent every day. Inevitably, this penetration of computer technology into our private and social lives has a moral dimension, which raises questions about our conduct and requires moral reflection and decision-making. The twenty-six groundbreaking essays collected in this insightful anthology define the nature of this new moral landscape and offer thoughtful answers to the ethical questions raised by the interaction of people and computers.

Divided into five sections, the volume begins with a definition of cyberethics. There is general agreement with James H. Moor's basic definition of the field as "the formulation and justification of policies for the ethical use of computers." Next the issues of anonymity and personal identity are considered. Computers provide individuals with a unique opportunity to create personae for the virtual world that are quite distinct from their normal identities. What are the moral dimensions of creating virtual personalities?
Perhaps the most pressing ethical issue is addressed in the next section on privacy. The ability of computers to store vast amounts of information on any individual raises the harrowing specter of a Big Brother society in the not-too-distant future. How should information be used and how might it be abused? What safeguards are needed to protect privacy as information technology becomes ever more sophisticated?

In the fourth section, questions concerning ownership of intellectual property and copyright law are considered. How can the rights of authorship be protected in the context of the internet?
Finally, the fifth section explores the debate now taking place regarding the impact of computers on democracy. Do computers offer new possibilities for enhancing democracy or will this prospect turn out to be a myth?

This is a much needed anthology of thought-provoking articles on the critical moral issues facing our "brave new world."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573927901
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
04/28/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.21(h) x 0.82(d)
Lexile:
1350L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction9
Pt. 1The Moral Landscape in Cyberspace21
1What Is Computer Ethics?23
2If Aristotle Were a Computing Professional34
3Does Computer Ethics Compute?41
4Ethics and the Computer World: A New Challenge For Philosophers44
5Subsumption Ethics56
6Narrative versus Logical Reasoning in Computer Ethics73
7Computer Ethics and Moral Methodology80
Pt. 2Anonymity in Cyberspace95
8Anonymous Communication Policies for the Internet: Results and Recommendations of the AAAS Conference and Assessing Anonymous Communication on the Internet: Policy Deliberations97
9Who Am We?129
10The Artificial Intelligensia and Virtual Worlds142
Pt. 3Privacy in Cyberspace153
11Little Brother Is Watching You155
12The Erosion of Privacy?162
13The Demise of Privacy in a Private World: From Front Porches to Chat Rooms171
14Privacy and the Computer: Why We Need Privacy in the Information Society188
15Toward a Theory of Privacy in the Information Age200
Pt. 4Property Ownership in Cyberspace213
16Wild, Wild Web215
17Should Computer Programs Be Owned?222
18Mind over Matter236
19Protecting Intellectual Property in Cyberspace243
20Intellectual Property in Synchronous and Collaborative Virtual Space257
Pt. 5Communities, Citizenship, and Democracy283
21Advanced Information Technology and Political Communication285
22Better Democracy through Technology288
23A Nation of Strangers?295
24Is the Global Information Infrastructure a Democratic Technology?304
25Cyberlibertarian Myths and the Prospects for Community319
26Liberty and Community Online332
Contributors353

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