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Cursus: FRRMV16017
Digital Ethics
Cursus informatieRooster
Studiepunten (ECTS)5
Categorie / NiveauM (Master)
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geesteswetenschappen; Utrecht Graduate School of Humanities; Domein Filosofie en Religiewetenschap RMA;
Contactpersoondr. J.H. Anderson
Telefoon+31 30 2532874
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. J.H. Anderson
Overige cursussen docent
dr. J.H. Anderson
Overige cursussen docent
dr. M.T. Schaefer
Overige cursussen docent
3  (07-02-2022 t/m 08-04-2022)
TimeslotB: B (DI-ochtend, DO-middag, DO-namiddag)
OpmerkingCounts towards the fulfillment of the “Interdisciplinary Research Area” requirement for RMA Philosophy students.
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 01-11-2021 t/m 28-11-2021
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
• Mastery of key concepts and methods for engaging in research in ethics related to digital technology, including confidentiality, fraud, risk, responsibility, privacy, and piracy.
• Critical examination of implications for ethics research of emerging technologies such as automatized decision-making and data visualization.
As more and more aspects of our lives - including research in the humanities - become digitalized, there is an urgent need for careful reflection on the ethical issues raised by digitalization, informed both by an understanding of central ethical concepts and knowledge of how various technologies are deployed.  This course is devoted to understanding the methods, principles, procedures, and institutions that govern the appropriate use of digital technology. Central ethical concepts addressed in the course include privacy, autonomy, nondiscrimination, transparency, responsibility, authenticity, and social justice. Central concepts form digital technology include datafication, algorithms, visualization, and access management.
The course will make central use of the “Digital Ethics Decision Aid (DEDA)” developed by the Utrecht Data School with the collaboration of the Ethics Institute. Using this tool as a guide, we  will examine several pivotal cases that raise fundamental issues regarding the responsible use of digital technology, such as the unintentional discovery of confidential information in medical scans or database searches, or disputed claims to authenticity or ownership related to digital reproduction.
In addition, the field of ethics is itself subject to transformation to the extent to which a variety of digital methods are increasingly used to assist, automate, or even replace decision-making.  Central here are questions regarding of the implications of Big Data processing, “smart” searchbots, automated decision supports, and techniques of data visualization for ethical judgments.
Informed by the lectures, readings, seminar discussions, and hands-on use of the DEDA, students form research teams to work jointly in developing and presenting their own ethical analyses of a concrete case. Building on the experience of a concrete analysis, students then each write a research paper on a digital ethics topic of their own choosing.   
Interested M.A. students without a background in philosophy, ethics, or digital humanities may qualify to take the course; however, they should first contact the course coordinator: 
The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. Therefore, you do not have to contact the Programme coordinator yourself.

Je moet voldoen aan de volgende eisen
  • Ingeschreven voor één van de volgende opleidingen
    • Applied Ethics
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Cognitive Artificial Intelligence
    • History and Philosophy of Science
    • Philosophy
  • Alle onderstaande cursussen zijn behaald
    • Mastercursussen Geesteswetenschappen (200501100)
Familiarity with basic principles of ethics, political theory, media ethics, philosophy of AI, and/or law related to digital ethics.
Bronnen van zelfstudie
Information will be made available on the Blackboard website for the course.
Verplicht materiaal

The course will mix lecture & discussion, and practical exercises in which (weeks 2-5) students will work in groups to develop an 'ethical audit’ of an employment of digital technology. Progress on this audit is discussed regularly during class. For the final paper, students write an individual research paper of the type found in digital ethics journals, building on their experience in doing the audit. An abstract for this paper is presented and discussed during the last class meeting.

Voorbereiding bijeenkomsten
Students are expected to have read carefully the required reading in advance of the
seminar meeting and to be prepared to participate actively in the discussion of the texts and related issues.

Bijdrage aan groepswerk
They will work together on both the development of "ethical audit" assignment and the final ethical analysis.


Voorbereiding bijeenkomsten
Thorough reading of the assigned texts, reading of relevant context literature; completing assigned practical tasks.

Bijdrage aan groepswerk
Active participation, including taking responsibility for the discussions in groups

Actieve deelname
Minimum cijfer-

Minimum cijfer-

Mastery of the how the analysis of a case-study (developed in group work using the Digital Ethics Decision Aid) relates to the assigned readings for the course, as this is reflected in a written report

Minimum cijfer-

Clarity of writing; cogency of argument; knowledge of relevant literature; and ability to integrate an understanding of digital technologies – and the experience of performing an ethical audit – into a sophisticated reflection on the ethical issues raised by digital technologies.

Minimum cijfer-

Thoroughness, originality, and empirical adequacy of the oral presentation (and the supporting written work) for a case-study that employs the Digital Ethics Decision Aid, completed as group work.

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