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REVIEW: "Ethics and Technology", Herman T. Tavani

Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor
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"Ethics and Technology", Herman T. Tavani, 2004, 0-471-24966-1,
%A Herman T. Tavani
%C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
%D 2004
%G 0-471-24966-1
%I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O U$56.80 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
%P 344 p.
%T "Ethics and Technology"

The preface states that this is a textbook on ethical issues in cyber
(computer and possibly communications) technology for computer
science, philosophy, sociology, and library science students.

Chapter one is an introduction to cyberethics, providing the concepts,
perspectives, and a methodological framework. There is more detailed
examination of the structure of, and practical approach to, ethics
than in any other computer ethics book I've reviewed. The questions
at the end of the chapter are mostly simple, but some call for
analysis and judgment. Establishing a moral system, in chapter two,
contemplates using ethics to review consequences, dealing with duty-,
contract-, and character-based theories. The material is detailed
but, disappointingly after the good start in chapter one, breaks no
new ground. Critical thinking, logical argument, and the problems
with fallacious arguments are considered in chapter three.
Professional ethics are in chapter four. Chapter five has a basic but
fairly complete review of privacy, better than some books on the topic
(although it does retail the data mining/diapers and beer myth).
Chapter six is a general introduction to security, with almost no
mention of ethics. Cybercrime, in chapter seven, buys into the myth
of the "evil teenage genius," and, again, has almost no mention of
ethics. Chapter eight's discussion of intellectual property deals
with ethics of copyright and related concepts, but is not as rigorous
as chapter one. Regulation of cyberspace, in chapter nine, is
similar. There is fairly standard coverage of equity, access, and
employment, in chapter ten, and community and identity, in eleven.

One could have hoped for a book that delivered on the promise of
chapter one, but, even without, this is a worthwhile addition to the
computer ethics bookshelf.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKETHTCH.RVW 20031025

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