Part A And B

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Part A and B

Part A

Reference to the scenario Leikessa is right bout her decision Major functions of professional codes of ethics include the requirement to articulate ethical standards of the profession; to educate practitioners and the public about ethical obligations; and to provide guidance to resolve ethical quandaries (Anderson et. al., 1993). Philosophical dialogue about alleged difficulty with codes of ethics includes works by Luegenbiehl (1983), Ladd (1995), Fairweather (2001) and Tavani (2004). There are numerous terms in the literature for professional codes of 'ethics'. In this paper we follow the guidance of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) (Berleur, et. al, 2004), in discussing two types of codes.

The first type, which Berleur et al refer to as the code of 'ethics/conduct', has a set of high level statements concerning such issues as honesty and integrity. This code governs 'how the person to whom it applies conducts him [sic] or herself in an ethical manner' (Berleur, 2004, p 11). To avoid confusion, this type will be referred to as the code of conduct in the rest of this paper. The second type of code refers to a 'code of practice' for professionals, which 'governs how the person to whom it applies carries out his or her work technically' (Berleur, 2004, p 11). This code includes a set of detailed statements related to the professional's particular occupational environment. These statements of practice are more specific and more likely to change over time, than are the conduct statements. For example, the desire for honesty is less likely to change over time, than is the interpretation of the way in which honest dealings in the occupational environment are to function.

Typically, a professional society would define both types of code for its members in a single document, a good example being the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. This is 'the standard for teaching and practicing software engineering by the ACM and IEEE-CS' (SECEPP, 1999). In this paper, reference to a 'code' or a 'code of ethics' means a document which includes both types of code, covering conduct and practice. Other references will be made to a specific type of code under consideration, for example a 'code of practice'. The problem we address in this paper is one in applied philosophy.

Presuming that a professional code of ethics can usefully serve the education and guidance functions, there are three critical questions. 1. How can one identify if the changing technology has reduced the ability of a code of ethics to be useful in ethical assessment? The code is to act as a guide. It should not be subject to frequent change, as each new technology or ICT work process comes along. Yet the inevitability of change in the ICT industry leads one to recognise that certain changes may require a review of a code of ethics, particularly with respect to its code of practice. 2. Given a code that no longer addresses some of the significant issues, what can ...
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