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Department of Information Technology

Technology, research and ethics

The course gives the required credit points in ethics for TekNat students.

Start date: 28 October 2010, 10.15-12.00, room Pol 2344
ECTS credits: 5
Course period: 2010 - 2011
Maximum number of participants: 30
Apply before: 2010-10-15

Target group/s and recommended background:

PhD students from all the disciplines of TekNat. No special prerequisities.

Contact person:

Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos

Course literature:
1. The elements of moral philosophy, 5th edition. J. Rachels and S. Rachels. McGraw-Hill, 2007. ISBN 13:978-0-07-312547-3.
2. Moral machines: Teaching robots right from wrong. W. Wallach and C. Allen. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-537404-9.
3. Good research practice: What is it?
4. Papers

Aim of course

Development and use of modern technology, for example IT, industrial applications, social media and biotechnology, affect people, organizations and society. Modern technology offer new possibilities and therefore causes new ethical issues. The way these issues are handled determines the effectiveness and usability of technology. There is a big risk that necessary and expensive technical systems may be abandoned or used suboprimally because of ethical conflicts. People and organizations may be hurt when they doubt or refuse to adopt a certain technology. Considering ethical aspects significant to efficiency and effectiveness of technology demands personal skills, suitable cooperation and coordination processes, and access to ethical tools and methods. This has to be done early in the development process of IT systems as well as during installation and ordinary running of the systems. The course will offer knowledge in the areas of technology ethics and psychology ethics. Participants will train their ability to apply tools and methods in handling moral issues connected to technology construction and use. Focus will be on methods and practical skills for people working with modern technology.

Contents, study format and form of examination

Lectures, seminars, group discussions and group work with focus on technology ethics. Application and evaluation of special tools during development, deployment and running of technology systems.
Treatment of real-life technology ethical conflicts and problems to exercise ethical competence.


Here is the list of the groups and their members plus e-mail addresses.



For each seminar you need to prepare a ten-minute presentation and a corresponding number of slides.
The slides have to be uploaded here before the seminars. E-mail them to Iordanis.


At least one day before the three seminars, 18/11, 25/11 and 3/12 each and one of the participants writes an abstract of 500 words about the book we will discuss.
All abstracts will be uploaded here. E-mail them to Iordanis.

Group projects

Find a moral problem that you feel is important for your group. Describe it, state the dilemma and identify the owner of the moral problem.
Answer the OLE questionnaire
Perform all three analyses HA, AT, and ETHXPERT, and make your decision.
Answer the evaluation questionnaire
Evaluate all ethical tools (OLE, HA, AT, ETHXPERT) with your own words (100-300 words)

Everything should be documented: 1)Description of the moral problem, 2)OLE, 3)HA, 4)AT, 5)Questionnaire, 6)Own evaluation. Save all this in a pdf file and e-mail it to Iordanis and Mikael before the last seminar.
ETHXPERT analysis has to be saved in the xml file which has to be e-mailed to Iordanis och Mikael before the last seminar.
The above together with your presentation slides will be uploaded on the website.


Write an essay about a theme you choose, for example from your own professional life. Discuss how it connects to theories of ethics and how it can be analyzed and resolved. It is important to cover all aspects, positive and negative, strengths and weaknesses.
Min 2 000 words, max 10 000 words.
Your essays will not be uploaded.


Please evaluate the course. The questionnaire is here.


Time, room Subject Presenter Literature, links, etc.
28 Oct, 10.15-12.00, 2344 Introduction Iordanis Slides; Apologia Sokratous
09 Nov, 10.15-12.00, 1113 Ethical skills Iordanis Slides; Papers; Kant; Myths, beliefs and Ethical Confidence
18 Nov, 10.15-12.00, 1111 Philosophy Groups Slides BC; Slides IT; Slides PA; Slides EM; Slides GE; Rachels & Rachels; Absracts I
25 Nov, 10.15-12.00, 1146 Technology, ethical issues Groups Slides IT; Slides EM; Slides BC; Slides GE; Slides PA; Wallace & Allen; Human enhancement; Internet and human rights; ACTA; Absracts II
03 Dec, 10.15-12.00, 1311 Research issues Groups Slides BC; Slides GE; Slides IT; Slides EM; Slides PA; Gustafsson et al.; CODEX; Publications;DNA evidence fabrication; Charlatanry in science and in publishing; Special student; Conflicts 1, 2, 3, 4; Absracts III
03 Dec, 13.15-15.00, 1311 Training, exercises Iordanis, Mikael Papers: Autonomy Method; ETHXPERT EthXpert software
13 Jan, 13.15-15.00, 1146 Seminar Groups Slides BC; Slides PA; Analysis IT; Analysis BC; Analysis GE; Analysis PA; Analysis EM
Updated  2011-01-24 16:10:27 by Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos.