Technological Progress and

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30 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

1

Technological Progress and
Human Values


R Sharan



LNMIIT JAIPUR

(Earlier at IIT Kanpur)

sharan[at]iitk.ac.in


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

2

Contents


Why courses on engineering ethics?



Wiener and Gandhi.



Multicultural issues: Knowing the learner.




Sharing the Experience

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

3


Courses on Engineering ethics started in
the decade of 1970s.


By 1990s courses on computer and
information ethics started (Bynum, SEP)



Bynum refers to work of Norbert Wiener



The Human Use of Human
beings.

(Cybernetics and Society)


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

4

Norbert Wiener



Thus the new industrial
revolution is a two
-
edged
sword. It may be used for the
benefit of humanity, but only if
humanity survives…It may also
be used to destroy humanity,
and if it is not used intelligently
it can go very far in that
direction’

(Weiner,1954: 162)


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

5

Two books (by Norbert Wiener and
Mahatma Gandhi)


The Human Use of Human
beings.

(1950/ 1954)


Hind Swaraj (1908/1909)



Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

6

Hind Swaraj (1909),
Chapter on the
condition of India


Railways, lawyers and doctors
have impoverished the country
so much so that, if we do not
wake up in time, we shall be
ruined.

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

7

Gandhi on Technology

How can I be when I know that
even this body is a most delicate
piece of machinery? The spinning
wheel itself is a machine; a little
tooth
-
pick is a machine. What I
object to is the craze for
machinery, not machinery as
such.

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

8

Gandhi and Wiener

Both advocate technological progress within moral
boundary.

Moral Boundaries
-


Wiener:
Deontism, Utilitarianism,
Phenomenology, Virtue Ethics.

Gandhi:

Talisman

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

9

Talisman of Gandhi

"Whenever you are in doubt, or when
the self becomes too much with you,
apply the following test. Recall the
face of the poorest and the weakest
man [woman] whom you may have
seen, and ask yourself, if the step you
contemplate is going to be of any use
to him [her]. Will he [she] gain
anything by it?"

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

10


How does a Learner of
Engineering Ethics look at
moral boundary?


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

11

Understanding the learner: Alasdair
Macintyre.



:
”I inherit from the past of my family, my
city, my tribe, my nation, a variety of debts,
inheritances, rightful expectations and
obligations.
---
These constitute the given
of my life, my moral starting point. This is
the part what gives my life its own
particularity”

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

12

Indian Situation


Education

1660

1862

1857

1908

1947

2011

India

Morrill Act

Europe

America

Royal Society

Gandhi
Forgotten


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

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East India Company



Political Independence



Post independence economic growth and
education

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

14

Stratification of Indian society

(i) a small Indian elite trying to be like the
western elite;

(ii) an Indian middle class trying to follow
the Indian elite; and

(iii) a large deprived section of people
who, like the Indians of colonization
era, feel that great injustice is being
done to them
.


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

15

Experience


The students were not willing to
accept that there were a large
number of deprived persons in
India. They thought that this was a
thing of the past. Hence, Gandhi’s
talisman remained only at a
ritualistic level and did not make
any real impact.

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

16

Task for Indian scientific and technological elite

Look inwards to

(i)
build scaffoldings which enable even
deprived persons to participate in
creation of technological progress and

(ii) think of moral boundaries within
which this should take place.


That would be meaningful relevant
engineering ethics.

Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

17

Steinbeck Nobel Prize acceptance speech
1962


“We have usurped many of the powers
we once ascribed to God”.


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

18

Steinbeck Nobel Prize acceptance speech
1962



“We have usurped many of the powers we once
ascribed to God”.



“Having taken Godlike power,
we must seek in ourselves for
the responsibility and the
wisdom we once prayed some
deity might have.”


Indo
-
US workshop at IIIT Delhi
Feb10th to 12th ,2011

19

Steinbeck Nobel speech 1962(contd)


“The danger and the glory and the
choice rest finally in man. The test
of his perfectibility is at hand.

Man himself has become our
greatest hazard and our only
hope
.”


Kamayani of Jaya Shankar Prasad?