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Philosophy

We are all users of technology and as such should recognize that not only does technology impact society, but also society impacts technology.  To that end, there must be an ethical dimension in both the development and implementation of technological solutions to problems, and in the use of technology in everyday life.  This two dimensional focus broadens the discussion of computer ethics.  It is a dialogue that is important not only for computer science and information technology majors, but also for the wide spectrum of undergraduate majors at the university who are all computer users.philosophy

To this end, my mission in both teaching and scholarship has been to investigate the questions at the intersection of computing technology and society from an ethical perspective.  Underlying my scholarship and teaching is the belief that to be an ethical computer professional or computer user, one has to know the values that underlie one’s decision-making process.  While this is largely and ultimately an individual process and choice, the values one espouses become the foundation for the individual’s interaction with society and technology.  Aristotle believed that becoming an ethical person is akin to an apprenticeship under the tutelage of moral mentors.  The role of the teacher/scholar in computer ethics is to guide her students towards this goal within the safe boundaries of the undergraduate classroom, to develop undergraduate curricula around ethical issues that impact on computer professionals and users and to disseminate, through workshops, these curricula and pedagogic methods to colleagues both within the university and in the larger academic community.  It is through this scholarship and pedagogy that we can evaluate the ethical values that should be espoused in design and development of computer technologies, and the policies that should be developed along with these technologies that will ensure their ethical implementation.