University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Philosophy of Information Technology

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The study-unit will examine the work of Martin Heidegger and other philosophers who have written on the issue of technology and on the way technology is transforming humanity. The philosophical concerns raised by these philosophers and other contemporary thinkers will then be applied to information technology.

Study-unit Aims

To introduce students to the philosophical concerns that are being raised by information technology, the implications of information technology for society and human life and ethical issues that are raised by the transformations that are being brought about by information technology.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Acquire knowledge about the philosophical concerns raised by technological determinism, understand the moral implications of technological responsibility and examine the ethical issues raised by the use of information technology.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Evaluate, from a philosophical perspective, his/her role as a morally responsible user of information technology;
Think more independently and apply norms of rationality and critique to issues concerning the technology.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Berg Olsen, J.K., (ed), Selinger, E., (ed) and Riis, S., (ed), New Waves in Philosophy of Technology (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
Floridi, L., The Philosophy of Information (Oxford: OUP, 2011).
Heidegger, Martin, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, trans. by William Lovitt (New York: Harper & Row, 1977).
Jonas, Hans, The Imperative of Responsibility (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1984).
Tavani, H.T., Ethics and Technology: Contoversies, Questions and Strategies for Ethical Computing (Chicester: John Wiley and Sons, 2010).


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S John Avellino
Jean Buttigieg

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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