Ethics for a digital world

data3Philosophy 2078G and  Digital Humanities 2125G: Ethics for a Digital World, Western University, Canada, Winter 2014, Thursdays 230-430 pm, Room HSB 240. An additional online hour of your choosing—this course is a blended course with both in person and online components

Through social media, computer gaming, and virtual communities, we spend a considerable portion of our lives in the digital world. What moral considerations ought to guide our conduct as digital citizens? This class will consider the ethics of life online, exploring questions such as the following: What are our rights and responsibilities in the digital world? How is social media changing our relationships? How do we balance copyright claims against demands for open access? How do we trade off anonymity and accountability? What’s the relationship between our virtual identities and our physical identities? What constraints, if any, shape our digital identities? Is piracy always wrong? Does a hacker’s code of ethics make any sense? Is cyber bullying worse than other forms of bullying? How should we respond to sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of hate and exclusion in online communities? Ethically speaking, are there events that we ought not to tweet about? Where do and don’t smart phones belong? Are there constraints on how we edit and present images online? Students will explore these questions and others through a study of both ethical theory and a series of cases in the burgeoning and important field of digital ethics.

A crosslisted course in Philosophy and Digital Humanities taught at Western University by Professor Samantha Brennan.


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