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Traditional Kantianism and Its Relation to Software Engineering Ethics

Research the Ethical Theory of Traditional Kantianism

Immanuel Kant is one of the major thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment. He is known for his work “Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals,” which provides an evaluation of motivations for action (Kant et al., 2019). The ethical theory of traditional Kantianism is often referred to as “The Categorical Imperative,” and it is a supreme principle of morality, the main provision of which is that the judgment of actions shall be based on whether they fulfill a duty, but not on their consequences (Editors of Encyclopaedia, 2020). The mentioned theory considers a certain action that is necessary as an imperative. Therefore, traditional Kantianism can be seen as a universal law that is the basis for morality.

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There are four formulations of the ethical theory of traditional Kantianism. The first is Universality and the law of Nature. It can be understood as a point of view that the maxims of a person’s actions become a universal law of Nature through their will (Kant et al., 2019). The second is called “Humanity” and is a call to act in such a way that a person treats humanity, implying not to use yourself or others as a means to some other end. The third formulation is autonomy, which implies that the will of every rational being is a universally legislating will (Lurie & Mark, 2016). Finally, the last formulation is the Kingdom of End, which calls to act according to the maxims of a universally legislating member of a merely possible kingdom of ends (Kant et al., 2019, p.44). Basically, the general notion of ethics is that nothing can be considered good without limitation except goodwill.

Examples of Relationships Between Basic Kantianism and Software Engineering Ethics

Software engineering ethics is a teaching for the ethical and professional obligations of software engineers. It is provided in the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice intended as a standard. It instructs practitioners about the requirements society expects them to meet. There are eight principles software engineers shall adhere to. The first two provisions are: Act consistently with the public interest and act in the best interest of clients (Joint Task Force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices, 2001). The other principles are the following: ensure that products comply with the highest professional standards possible, maintain integrity and independence in professional judgment, and promote an ethical approach to software development management. In addition, software engineers shall advance the integrity and reputation of the profession and shall be fair and supportive of their colleagues (Joint Task Force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices, 2001). Finally, practitioners shall participate in lifelong learning regarding their profession’s practice and shall promote an ethical approach. The described principles comprise the generally accepted software engineers, attitude toward ethical conduct.

It is possible to outline examples of relationships between basic Kantianism and software engineering ethics. The first and the second principle of software engineering ethics are a representation of the first formulation of the ethical theory of Kantianism as they call to act in the best interests as this will is a universal law. The fourth principle of software engineering ethics responds to the second formulation of the ethical theory of Kantianism as they call for treating humans as a person wishes to be treated, i.e., fairly. Therefore, there is a strong relationship between the ethical code and Kant’s ethical theory.

References

Editors of Encyclopaedia (2020). Categorical imperative. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web.

Joint Task Force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices (2001). Software engineering code of ethics and professional practice. Science and engineering ethics, 7(2), 231–238. Web.

Kant, I., Bennett, C., Saunders, J., & Stern, R. (2019). Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals. Oxford University Press.

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Lurie, Y., & Mark, S. (2016). Professional ethics of software engineers: An Ethical Framework. Science and engineering ethics, 22(2), 417–434. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Traditional Kantianism and Its Relation to Software Engineering Ethics." September 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/traditional-kantianism-and-its-relation-to-software-engineering-ethics/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Traditional Kantianism and Its Relation to Software Engineering Ethics." September 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/traditional-kantianism-and-its-relation-to-software-engineering-ethics/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Traditional Kantianism and Its Relation to Software Engineering Ethics'. 27 September.

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