Introducing ethics in Information and Computer Sciences
Introducing ethics in Information and Computer Sciences

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Introducing ethics in Information and Computer Sciences

6 Conclusion

I hope you have found it interesting to look at the various plays I have discussed in this course, not only because they are entertaining but, mainly, because they are instructive and, often, quite compact. What plays can do is to stimulate your own emotions, which, as I argued in the course, is a powerful beginning to ethical reasoning. Drama provides ready-made analogues for exploring experiences, often experiences that you have not had but also experiences you might face yourself. The skilful novelist or playwright helps us to understand, even if in some small way, what we experienced, as though we are transported into another situation. In some cases, as you have seen in this course, drama reveals what it is to be a technology developer and actually illustrates aspects of ethics that the rationalist traditions of engineering and technology conceal. These include the limitations of logical debate or the emotional and very tangible dimension of professional activities: these are facets of professional practice in ICS that are often relegated to being of secondary importance, if acknowledged at all.

Listening to or watching a performance can stimulate your own emotions, so I strongly recommend that you attend theatre performances or listen to radio renderings, to add extra dimensions to your thinking. The examples I have used in this course are only a few amongst many others that can help to guide you in your professional practice, but you may already have come across other relevant plays and novels, or may yet find new ones. Also, you will have noted that, especially in the initial sections, I used several examples taken from newspapers (and online versions of those). I hope that, having studied this course, you will be more aware of ethical statements being repeatedly made in often tacit ways on the media, which should help you develop a more critical approach to text assumedly presented as ‘pure’ reportage.


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