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Transcript
Ethics
What is ethics?
• The science of conduct:
– science: rational inquiry to gain knowledge
– conduct: behavior when voluntary choice is
made because of belief that it right.
• Ethicists study how people ought to behave
• Moralists try to make people behave better
What is ethics?
• The systematic inquiring into human
conduct with the purpose of discovering the
rules that ought to govern actions.
– Deontological: what is right
– Teleological: what is good
What is ethics?
• Ethics is the study of morality.
» Tavani, 2004
What is morality?
• A system of rules for guiding human
conduct and principles for evaluating those
rules.
» Tavani 2004)
• (Not a universally accepted definition.)
Moral System
Rules of conduct
Microlevel
(individuals)
Do not steal
Principles of evaluation
(Standards to justify rules
of conduct)
Macrolevel
social policies
Privacy should
be respected
Problem: People disagree on
solutions to moral issues
Problem: People disagree on
solutions to moral issues
• But many experts disagree on key issues in
their fields. No need to stop the discussion.
• People do agree on many moral issues.
• Need to recognize that disagreements could
be about
– principles
– facts
– eg: stealing is wrong. Is copying over the
internet stealing?
Problem: Who am I to judge
others?
Problem: Who am I to judge
others?
• Need to distinguish between judging to
evaluate and judging to condemn
• We routinely evaluate people: who fixes
your car? who do you buy groceries from?
• Sometimes, we are morally obligated to
make judgments
– child abuse
– human rights abuse
Problem: Morality is a private
matter
Problem: Morality is a private
matter
• Morality is a public system
– if not, then it must be OK for me to steal from
you if I think it is OK for me to steal from you
• Don’t confuse moral choice with personal
preference
Problem: Morality is a matter for
individual cultures to decide
Problem: Morality is a matter for
individual cultures to decide
• Does it follow that a culture can devise any
moral scheme so long as the majority of
people in that culture approve?
– What if the majority says it’s OK to use
chemical weapons (or airplanes) to attack us?
Views
• Utilitarian: the goodness of the consequence
determines the rightness of the action
– Act Utilitarianism: An act, X, is permissible if the
consequences produced by doing X result in the
greatest good for the greatest number of people affected
by X.
– Rule Utilitarianism: An act, X, is morally permissible if
the consequences of following the general rule Y of
which X is an instance, would bring about the greatest
good for the greatest number.
Views
• Duty: (Kant) the goodness of the motives
determine the rightness of the action
– Each individual has the same moral worth,
regardless of wealth, intelligence, or
circumstance
– Each principle is universally binding, without
exception, for all human beings
Views
• Hedonism: the sole good in life is pleasure
Views
• Contract-based (Hobbs)
– We surrender some freedoms to a sovereign in
return for the benefits of the rule of law that
protect individuals from being harmed by
others
Logical Arguments
• is a form of reasoning
• is comprised of statements or assertions
• aims at establishing a conclusion based on
evidence provided in the claims
Fallacy
• An error in reasoning
• (not a false statement)
Fallacies
• ad hominem argument: attack person rather than
substance of argument
• Slippery Slope: “X can be abused, so we must not
allow X.”
• Appeal to Authority: “X is an authority, and X
said Z, therefore Z.”
• post hoc ergo propter hoc (False Cause
Argument) “since X preceded Y, X caused Y”
Fallacies
• Fallacy of composition/division: confusing the
whole for the parts.
– “X is the best since it contains the best parts”
– “Since X is the highest-rated, every part of X must be
the highest rated”
• Ambiguity: “Computers have memory. Humans
use memory to recall their childhoods. Therefore
computers can recall their childhoods.”
Fallacies
• Argumentum ad populum: “Two million
Elvis-believers can’t be wrong.”
• Many/Any Fallacy: “Many X are Y,
therefore all X are Y.”
• Virtuality Fallacy: “X exists in cyberspace.
Cyberspace is virtual. Therefore X (or its
effect) is not real.”
What is a Profession?
What is a Profession?
• Calling in which special knowledge and
skills are used in the service of mankind
• Elements (Greenwood 91)
–
–
–
–
–
systematic theory
authority
community sanction
ethical codes
culture
Who is a professional?
Who is a professional?
• One who recognizes his/her obligations to
society by living up to accepted codes of
conduct
What is the purpose of
professional codes?
• Inspire, educate, guide, and discipline
members
• must be broad enough to cover ethical
conflicts, and specific enough to guide
professionals
Software Engineers
• Ought to uphold normal standards of
honesty and integrity
• Ought to uphold the law
• Ought to uphold the reputation of the
profession
Standards of behavior not
bounded by law
• Professional responsibility
–
–
–
–
Confidentiality
Competence
Intellectual property rights
Computer misuse
Standards of behavior not
bounded by law
• Professional responsibility
– Confidentiality
• Respect the confidentiality of employers and
clients with or without signed agreement
– Competence
– Intellectual property rights
– Computer misuse
Standards of behavior not
bounded by law
• Professional responsibility
– Confidentiality
– Competence
• Engineers should not misrepresent their level
of competence
– Intellectual property rights
– Computer misuse
Standards of behavior not
bounded by law
• Professional responsibility
– Confidentiality
– Competence
– Intellectual property rights
• Engineers should be aware of laws
governing use of intellectual property and
protect the rights of employers, clients, and
other engineers
– Computer misuse
Standards of behavior not
bounded by law
• Professional responsibility
–
–
–
–
Confidentiality
Competence
Intellectual property rights
Computer misuse
• Engineers should not use technical skills to
misuse computers belonging to others (e.g.
game playing at work or dissemination of
viruses)
Three levels of obligations
• Level 1: Humanity
• Level 2: Professionalism
• Level 3: Each Profession
Three levels of obligations
• Level 1: Humanity
– Integrity
– Justice
• Level 2: Professionalism
• Level 3: Each Profession
Three levels of obligations
• Level 1: Humanity
• Level 2: Professionalism
– Fairness, giving credit
• Level 3: Each Profession
Three levels of obligations
• Level 1: Humanity
• Level 2: Professionalism
• Level 3: Each Profession
– Understand specifications
– Ensure adequate testing
Software Engineering Code of
Ethics
• Purpose:
– A standard for practicing engineering
– Documents ethical and professional
responsibilities of software engineers
• Adopted by IEEE and ACM
• Developed by international task force
including industry, academics, military, and
government
Standard
• Describes ethical and professional
obligations against which peers, the public,
and legal bodies can measure a software
developer’s behavior.
Why our own code?
• Most professionals have profession-specific
codes of ethics.
• Professionals have great impact on the wellbeing of others.
• They have a higher standard of conduct than
non-professionals.
Eight Principles of Responsibility
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Public
Client and employer
Product
Judgment
Management
Profession
Colleagues
Self
Public
• Software engineers shall act consistently
with the public interest.
Public
• What is the public interest?
• How do we know the public interest?
Client and employer
• Software engineers shall act in a manner
that is in the best interest of their clients and
employer, consistent with the public
interest.
Client and employer
• Software engineers shall act in a manner
that is in the best interest of their clients and
employer, consistent with the public
interest.
• What does that mean?
• What about making bombs?
– Ethical? Public interest?
Product
• Software engineers shall ensure that their
products and related modifications meet the
highest professional standards possible.
Product
• Software engineers shall ensure that their
products and related modifications meet the
highest professional standards possible.
• What are the professional standards? Does
that mean “zero defects”?
Judgment
• Software engineers shall maintain integrity
and independence in their professional
judgment.
Judgment
• Software engineers shall maintain integrity
and independence in their professional
judgment.
• If your boss comes in and says “we have to
ship the pacemakers next week, cut the
testing cycle.” what do you do?
Management
• Software engineering managers and leaders
shall subscribe to and promote an ethical
approach to the management of software
development and maintenance.
Management
• Software engineering managers and leaders
shall subscribe to and promote an ethical
approach to the management of software
development and maintenance.
• What implications does this have wrt
programmers working for you?
Profession
• Software engineers shall advance the
integrity and reputation of the profession
consistent with the public interest.
Profession
• Software engineers shall advance the
integrity and reputation of the profession
consistent with the public interest.
• What does integrity mean?
• What does reputation mean?
• Why do they matter?
Colleagues
• Software engineers shall be fair to and
supportive of their colleagues.
Colleagues
• Software engineers shall be fair to and
supportive of their colleagues.
• Give examples.
• Give counter examples.
Self
• Software engineers shall participate in
lifelong learning regarding the practice of
their profession and shall promote an ethical
approach to the practice of the profession.
Self
• Software engineers shall participate in
lifelong learning regarding the practice of
their profession and shall promote an ethical
approach to the practice of the profession.
• Give examples.
• Give counter examples.
Group Exercise
• Get into groups of 4. Each team member
takes two sections of the code.
– 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, 7&8
• Each team member will teach the rest of the
team about the sections they have.
• Teachers: get with other people teaching the
same section.
– You have 15 minutes to prepare
– You will have 5 minutes to teach
State the focus of the principle
and discuss the questions
• Principle 4: Judgment
• How might technical judgments conflict
with human values?
• Name example conflicts of interest that
cannot be avoided and must be disclosed.
• How might financial pressures cloud one’s
judgment?
State the focus of the principle
and discuss the questions
Principle 8: Self
• Why is it an obligation of software engineers to
further their knowledge and improve their abilities
to create better software?
• How might one improve his/her ability to produce
quality software and well-written documentation?
• How does clause 2.02 apply to Principle 8?
• How might one unintentionally violate the Code?
State the focus of the principle
and discuss the questions
• Principle 7: Colleagues
• How might one encourage one’s colleagues to
adhere to the Code?
• How might one remain objective towards the work
of his/her colleagues when the individual is a
personal friend?
• How can an individual affect another individual’s
career positively?
• How can an individual affect another individual’s
career negatively and under what circumstances is
this appropriate or inappropriate?
State the focus of the principle
and discuss the questions
Principle 3: Product
• How does one know whether project goals and
objectives are proper and achievable?
• What methods might one employ for
understanding software specifications?
• What consequences might occur if proposed
estimates of cost, scheduling, personnel, quality,
or outcomes prove unrealistic?
• How does one ensure adequate testing, debugging,
and review of software? What is adequate?