About the 'Idea of Man' in System Design - An Enlightened Version of the Internet of Things?
Vienna University of Economics and Business
Architecting The Internet of Things’, pp. 25-34, Hrsg. Dieter Uckelmann, Mark Harrison, Florian Michahelles, Springer Verlag, eds., 2010
This article aims to argue that, as we move into an era of ubiquitous computing, where the traditional Internet evolves to embrace an Internet of Things, it may be beneficial to embed an 'Idea of Man' into its systems design. The 'Idea of Man' is a holistic philosophical concept that considers what Man is, what Man should be, and how Man lives with others in society. The article provides arguments for the relevance of the Idea of Man in system design in general. I argue that the Idea of Man influences the power relationship between men and computer systems as well as the values that we build into these systems. Furthermore, I argue that programmers’ Idea of Man influences the values which embed systems. Finally, I highlight future challenges involved in integrating an Idea of Man into systems. The article is a viewpoint and its arguments are purely deductive. Its contribution is that it shows how the Idea of Man could serve as a foundation for a variety of considerations relating to computer ethics. If we take today’s Idea of Man in the Western world, which views men as responsible and mature, able to act rationally, and capable of defining themselves through moral autonomy and freedom of choice, we establish high level guidance for how systems should be built and what an Internet of Things could, or should not, do for us.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 28, 2012
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