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REVIEW: "Handbook of Research on Technoethics", Rocci Luppicini/Rebecca Adell

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKHRTCET.RVW 20081002 Handbook of Research on Technoethics , Rocci Luppicini/Rebecca Adell, 2009, 978-160566022-6, U$495.00 %E Rocci Luppicini %E
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2008
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      BKHRTCET.RVW 20081002

      "Handbook of Research on Technoethics", Rocci Luppicini/Rebecca Adell,
      2009, 978-160566022-6, U$495.00
      %E Rocci Luppicini
      %E Rebecca Adell
      %C Suite 200 701 E. Chocolate Ave., Hershey, PA 17033-1117
      %D 2009
      %G 978-160566022-6
      %I IRM Press/Idea Group/IGI Global
      %O U$495.00 800-345-432 717-533-8845 cust@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1605660221/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/1605660221/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 1028 p. (2 volumes)
      %T "Handbook of Research on Technoethics"

      The (very brief) preface states that the work is for students,
      instructors, researchers, ethicists, technology scholars, and just
      about everybody. Unfortunately, all it has to say about the topic is
      that it is broad. Ultimately, this is a compendium of papers related
      to ethics related to technology (sometimes).

      Even in the more detailed attempt to define technoethics, in the first
      article, the authors have to admit that there is little agreement on
      the term: that some see it as the special responsibility of
      technologists and engineers, while others extend it to behavioural
      standards for the new global community. A "conceptual map" of the
      topic is presented at one point. In some attempt to be cute the
      topics are overlaid on a map of Europe, but the specific subjects are
      laid out in almost random fashion, primarily covering computer ethics
      and related ideas, but extending somewhat into biomedical areas. (One
      of the more interesting papers examines the ethics of performance
      enhancement technologies in sports.)

      The essays are divided into broad categories: theoretical frameworks,
      areas of research, case studies, emerging trends, and further reading.
      The titles of the sections do little to differentiate the contents of
      the pieces. In the section on theoretical frameworks, for example,
      one paper describes Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development,
      while another briefly notes John Rawls' theory of social justice: the
      other five essays are generic introductions to ethics in technical
      arenas. (The article looking at Kohlberg is merely an overview of his
      philosophy, without any real relation to technology. Similarly, a
      later treatise is simply an explanation of podcasting, without any
      relevance to ethics at all.) There does not appear to have been any
      attempt to structure topics in advance, but rather to attempt to
      arbitrarily impose some kind of organization after the fact.
      Therefore, while some of the treatises are detailed and well written,
      most are vague and simplistic. There are different examples and focus
      in various papers, but there is an enormous amount of duplicate
      content, particularly in terms of basic concepts.

      The range of examples might be interesting or useful for broad
      discussions of ethics in a technical environment. However, it is hard
      to imagine an audience that would benefit from this work, rather than
      a number of others that would be more valuable at less cost (even when
      considered in total). Deborah Johnson's "Computer Ethics" (cf.
      BKCMPETH.RVW) is limited to information technology, true, but it is
      more complete in that field. Herman Tavani's "Ethics and Technology"
      (cf. BKETHTCH.RVW) is more structured and foundational. The addition
      of a decent text on bioethics would equal or exceed the content of
      these volumes, and be easier on the pocketbook. (Or is it immoral to
      contemplate such base considerations?)

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKHRTCET.RVW 20081002

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      Is your children learning? - George W. Bush on education
      victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
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