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Thinging Ethics for Software Engineers

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: Ethical systems are usually described as principles for distinguishing right from wrong and forming beliefs about proper conduct. Ethical topics are complex, with excessively verbose accounts of mental models and intensely ingrained philosophical assumptions. From practical experience, in teaching ethics for software engineering students, an explanation of ethics alone often cannot provide insights of behavior and thought for students. Additionally, it seems that there has been no exploration into the development of a conceptual presentation of ethics that appeals to computer engineers. This is particularly clear in the area of software engineering, which focuses on software and associated tools such as algorithms, diagramming, documentation, modeling and design as applied to various types of data and conceptual artifacts. It seems that software engineers look at ethical materials as a collection of ideas and notions that lack systematization and uniformity. Accordingly, this paper explores a thinging systematization for ethical theories that can serve a role similar to that of modeling languages (e.g., UML). In this approach, thinging means actualization (existence, presence, being) of things and mechanisms that define a boundary around some region of ethically related reality, separating it from everything else. The resultant diagrammatic representation then developed to model the process of making ethical decisions in that region.

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