Reflective Responsibility

Reflective Responsibility

Bernd Carsten Stahl (De Montford University, UK)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 35
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-172-8.ch005
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Abstract

What is “reflective responsibility”? The idea behind it is to see whether the concept as discussed so far is applicable to itself and what consequences result from the self-application. It is an attempt to clarify the notion by referring to the term itself without using any other theories. The self-application of concepts is an old tool used by philosophers for centuries, sometimes with great success. The probably best-known example which demonstrates that reflexivity can be highly successful and plausible is the refutation of scepticism. Scepticism, understood as the doctrine that there is no truth, has been part of the philosophical discourse ever since humans started discussing truth. Given the difficulties of defining truth and the obvious fallibility of our knowledge, it is an attractive position that allows the speaker to avoid many pitfalls. However, scepticism has one big problem, which becomes obvious as soon as one applies the idea onto itself. If scepticism is true and consequently there is no truth, then scepticism cannot be true. Scepticism can thus be shown to be self-contradictory. Self-reference on the other hand is also a dangerous game to play because it can create serious logical and practical problems. One example is the mathematical class of all classes that contain themselves. This has led to logical problems that have kept the mathematicians in work for a greater part of the 20th century. A rather practical problem is that of self-fulfilling prophecies. These are created by applying a theory to itself, and they can have a considerable social impact (cf. Watzlawik, 2001b).

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Bernd Carsten Stahl
This first content chapter of the book is meant to clarify the notions involved in the responsible management of information systems. The focus of... Sample PDF
Information Systems and Business Information Technology
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Chapter 2
Ethics and Morality  (pages 9-25)
Bernd Carsten Stahl
Academic texts have to conform to certain standards, and one of these is to define the concepts they use. Texts dealing with ethics or morality... Sample PDF
Ethics and Morality
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Chapter 3
Bernd Carsten Stahl
In this chapter we want to show why it makes sense to use the concept of responsibility with respect to the business use of information technology.... Sample PDF
Why Responsibility and Information Systems?
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Chapter 4
Bernd Carsten Stahl
In the broadest possible sense, responsibility is “but a set of practices that we use to describe and understand individual and social behaviour”... Sample PDF
The Theory of Responsibility and Information Systems
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Chapter 5
Reflective Responsibility  (pages 117-151)
Bernd Carsten Stahl
What is “reflective responsibility”? The idea behind it is to see whether the concept as discussed so far is applicable to itself and what... Sample PDF
Reflective Responsibility
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Chapter 6
Bernd Carsten Stahl
Before we start analysing the details of how reflective responsibility impacts on the use of information technology, we should briefly recapitulate... Sample PDF
Reflective Responsibility and the Management of Information Systems
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