Digital Ethics and Moral Theory Explained
It’s not always obvious how the idea of ethics should merge with the very broad concept of digital. Especially since the word ethics brings to mind a whole field of academia rooted in ideas brought forth by greek philosophers. This is my contribution to framing digital ethics in a way that makes it more useful for everyday work with digital products and services.
Three branches of ethics
Let’s start off with the different branches of ethics that are central to conversation, and generally studied by philosophers. I’m not talking about moral theory yet (utilitarianism, etceteras) but rather about different perspectives of approaching ethics as a concept:
- Normative Ethics
- Applied Ethics
Normative ethics seeks to answer how people should act in a moral sense. It’s concerned with questions like “how should I be” and “how should I act”. It rests on the idea that moral principles need justification and explanation. There are of course many moral theories but these are the big three categories.