Information Technology, the Good and Modernity

In Thinking Machines and the Philosophy of Computer Science: Concepts and Principles. pp. 223-236 (2010)
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In Information and Computer Ethics (ICE), and, in fact, in normative and evaluative research of Information Technology (IT) in general, researchers have paid few attentions to the prudential values of IT. Hence, analyses of the prudential values of IT are mostly found in popular discourse. Yet, the analyses of the prudential values of IT are important for answering normative questions about people’s well-being. In this chapter, the author urges researchers in ICE to take the analyses of the prudential values of IT seriously. A serious study of the analyses, he argues, will enrich the research of ICE. But, what are the analyses? The author will distinguish the analyses of the prudential values of IT, i.e. the prudential analysis, from other types of normative and evaluative analysis of IT. Then, the author will explain why prudential analyses are not taken seriously by the researchers in ICE, and argue why they deserve more attentions. After that, he will outline a framework to analyse and evaluate prudential analyses, and he will apply the framework to an actual prudential analysis. Finally, he will briefly conclude this chapter by highlighting the limits of the proposed framework and identifying the directions for future research.
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