Science and Engineering Ethics (1996) 2, 2, pp 177-190
The author agrees with James Moor that computer technology, because it is ‘logically malleable’, is bringing about a genuine social revolution. Moor compares the computer revolution to the ‘industrial revolution’ of the late 18th and the 19th centuries; but it is argued here that a better comparison is with the ‘printing press revolution’ that occurred two centuries before that. Just as the major ethical theories of Bentham and Kant were developed in response to the printing press revolution, so a new ethical theory is likely to emerge from computer ethics in response to the computer revolution. The newly emerging field of information ethics, therefore, is much more important than even its founders and advocates believe.