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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?.

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What is ethics l.jpg
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 ethics3 l.jpg
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


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What is ethics?

  • Ethics is the study of morality.

    • Tavani, 2004


What is morality l.jpg
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 l.jpg
    Moral System

    Rules of conduct

    Principles of evaluation

    (Standards to justify rules

    of conduct)

    Microlevel

    (individuals)

    Macrolevel

    social policies

    Privacy should

    be respected

    Do not steal



    Problem people disagree on solutions to moral issues8 l.jpg
    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 others10 l.jpg
    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 matter12 l.jpg
    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 decide14 l.jpg
    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 l.jpg
    Views decide

    • 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.


    Views16 l.jpg
    Views decide

    • 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


    Views17 l.jpg
    Views decide

    • Hedonism: the sole good in life is pleasure


    Views18 l.jpg
    Views decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Logical Arguments decide

    • is a form of reasoning

    • is comprised of statements or assertions

    • aims at establishing a conclusion based on evidence provided in the claims


    Fallacy l.jpg
    Fallacy decide

    • An error in reasoning

    • (not a false statement)


    Fallacies l.jpg
    Fallacies decide

    • 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”


    Fallacies22 l.jpg
    Fallacies decide

    • 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.”


    Fallacies23 l.jpg
    Fallacies decide

    • 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 profession25 l.jpg
    What is a Profession? decide

    • 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 professional27 l.jpg
    Who is a professional? decide

    • One who recognizes his/her obligations to society by living up to accepted codes of conduct


    What is the purpose of professional codes l.jpg
    What is the purpose of professional codes? decide

    • Inspire, educate, guide, and discipline members

    • must be broad enough to cover ethical conflicts, and specific enough to guide professionals


    Software engineers l.jpg
    Software Engineers decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Standards of behavior not bounded by law decide

    • Professional responsibility

      • Confidentiality

      • Competence

      • Intellectual property rights

      • Computer misuse


    Standards of behavior not bounded by law31 l.jpg
    Standards of behavior not bounded by law decide

    • 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 law32 l.jpg
    Standards of behavior not bounded by law decide

    • Professional responsibility

      • Confidentiality

      • Competence

        • Engineers should not misrepresent their level of competence

      • Intellectual property rights

      • Computer misuse


    Standards of behavior not bounded by law33 l.jpg
    Standards of behavior not bounded by law decide

    • 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 law34 l.jpg
    Standards of behavior not bounded by law decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Three levels of obligations decide

    • Level 1: Humanity

    • Level 2: Professionalism

    • Level 3: Each Profession


    Three levels of obligations36 l.jpg
    Three levels of obligations decide

    • Level 1: Humanity

      • Integrity

      • Justice

    • Level 2: Professionalism

    • Level 3: Each Profession


    Three levels of obligations37 l.jpg
    Three levels of obligations decide

    • Level 1: Humanity

    • Level 2: Professionalism

      • Fairness, giving credit

    • Level 3: Each Profession


    Three levels of obligations38 l.jpg
    Three levels of obligations decide

    • Level 1: Humanity

    • Level 2: Professionalism

    • Level 3: Each Profession

      • Understand specifications

      • Ensure adequate testing


    Software engineering code of ethics l.jpg
    Software Engineering Code of Ethics decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Standard decide

    • Describes ethical and professional obligations against which peers, the public, and legal bodies can measure a software developer’s behavior.


    Why our own code l.jpg
    Why our own code? decide

    • Most professionals have profession-specific codes of ethics.

    • Professionals have great impact on the well-being of others.

    • They have a higher standard of conduct than non-professionals.


    Eight principles of responsibility l.jpg
    Eight Principles of Responsibility decide

    • Public

    • Client and employer

    • Product

    • Judgment

    • Management

    • Profession

    • Colleagues

    • Self


    Public l.jpg
    Public decide

    • Software engineers shall act consistently with the public interest.


    Public44 l.jpg
    Public decide

    • What is the public interest?

    • How do we know the public interest?


    Client and employer l.jpg
    Client and employer decide

    • 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 employer46 l.jpg
    Client and employer decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Product decide

    • Software engineers shall ensure that their products and related modifications meet the highest professional standards possible.


    Product48 l.jpg
    Product decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Judgment decide

    • Software engineers shall maintain integrity and independence in their professional judgment.


    Judgment50 l.jpg
    Judgment decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Management decide

    • Software engineering managers and leaders shall subscribe to and promote an ethical approach to the management of software development and maintenance.


    Management52 l.jpg
    Management decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Profession decide

    • Software engineers shall advance the integrity and reputation of the profession consistent with the public interest.


    Profession54 l.jpg
    Profession decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Colleagues decide

    • Software engineers shall be fair to and supportive of their colleagues.


    Colleagues56 l.jpg
    Colleagues decide

    • Software engineers shall be fair to and supportive of their colleagues.

    • Give examples.

    • Give counter examples.


    Slide57 l.jpg
    Self decide

    • 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.


    Slide58 l.jpg
    Self decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    Group Exercise decide

    • 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 l.jpg
    State the focus of the principle and discuss the questions decide

    • 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 questions61 l.jpg
    State the focus of the principle and discuss the questions decide

    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 questions62 l.jpg
    State the focus of the principle and discuss the questions decide

    • 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 questions63 l.jpg
    State the focus of the principle and discuss the questions decide

    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?


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