Responsibility, Accountability, and Liability: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Title: Responsibility, Accountability, and Liability:


1
Responsibility, Accountability, and
Liability Studies in the Theory of
Responsibility for Engineering Ethics and
Engineering Accountability
A mans ethical behavior should be based
effectively on sympathy, education and social
ties no religious basis is necessary. Man would
be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by
fear of punishment and hope of reward after
death -- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) We
live as if the world were as it should be, to
show what it can be
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The Importance of Understanding the Concept of
Responsibility
  • My hypothesis is that technological risks,
    vulnerabilities and failures often occur because
    responsibilities are inappropriately assigned. If
    we can construct some model for the
    responsibility of actions taken or tasks
    performed, that, for example may have lead to a
    technological disaster, we are poised to make
    better decisions about the ascription of moral
    responsibility and accountability
  • This will reduce vulnerabilities and subsequent
    failures and disasters
  • To usefully reason about responsibilities in a
    complex socio-technical system, we must have some
    way of modeling the responsibility itself (in
    addition to, and distinct from, the important
    task of modeling the assignment of
    responsibilities)

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The Concept of Responsibility
  • Four-Fold Definition of Responsibility
  • Causal Responsibility
  • Liability-Responsibility
  • Role-Responsibility
  • Moral-Responsibility

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Causal Responsibility
  • A purely descriptive sense of responsibility
  • The heavy rain is responsible for the flooding
  • The operator was responsible for turning off the
    control switch
  • The But-For conception of being causally
    responsible
  • X was causally responsible for Y
  • But for the occurrence of X, Y would not have
    happened
  • For Example But for the operator turning the
    switch, the control would not have went off

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The Concept of Liability
  • Liability for ones actions means that one can
    rightly be made to pay for the adverse effects of
    ones actions on others
  • Automobile liability insurance is intended to
    cover the costs of damage to other persons or
    property
  • We are usually liable for such payments as long
    as we are causally responsible, even if our
    actions were unintentional
  • Liability, does not necessarily involve moral
    responsibility for the action

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Strict Liability
  • It means that no excusing conditions are
    applicable or accepted
  • Responsibility without fault
  • Strict Products Liability
  • Part of the debate about legal liability concerns
    where the line should be drawn when assigning
    strict liability

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Strict Products Liability
  • Charges of strict liability in torts (harms) are
    generally assigned to manufacturers for products
    that are in a defective condition or
    unreasonably dangerous.
  • That liability can be assigned regardless of
    whether the defendant has been negligent or has
    been careful (applying accepted standards of care
    for the product, its design, its manufacture, its
    assembly and associated warnings).
  • In order to prove strict liability, the plaintiff
    need not prove that the defendant's action fell
    below society's expectation for reasonable
    behavior. Instead, the plaintiff must prove that
    the product per se was in a defective condition
    unreasonably dangerous. It is certainly true that
    negligent behavior can result in a product in a
    defective condition unreasonably dangerous. The
    plaintiff may, of course pursue both theories of
    liability at the same time

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Strict Products Liability
  • In order to apply strict liability for products,
    courts have required the following
  • The 'product' was in a 'defective condition
    resulting in a product that is unreasonably
    dangerous'. Defects can be created by
    manufacture, assembly, design, warning labels,
    marketing, etc.
  • The defendant was in the 'stream of commerce'
    that produces the product and/or delivers the
    product to the customer (manufacturer,
    subcontractor, wholesaler, distributor, retailer,
    etc.).
  • The product was defective when it left the
    defendant's hands.
  • The product was intended to reach the plaintiff
    without substantial change.
  • The defect caused in fact) physical harm to the
    plaintiff. (Strict liability in torts may relieve
    the plaintiff of responsibility for unforeseeable
    misuse, abuse, alterations and other defenses

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Strict Products Liability
  • The rationale used by courts for imposing strict
    liability in tort includes three principles 1)
    deterrence, 2) loss spreading, and 3)
    responsibility
  • Deterrence courts have stated that strict
    liability in torts encourage manufacturers (and
    others in the 'stream of commerce') to make
    products safer. This increased liability may make
    products more expensive, but courts argue that
    the increased price more accurately reflects the
    true social costs of the products.
  • Loss spreading courts have stated that strict
    liability spreads losses that would be a hardship
    upon individuals, but the manufacturer (and
    others in the 'stream of commerce') can offset
    the increased risk by purchasing insurance. The
    ethical basis of this principle is utilitarianism
  • In addition to deterrence and loss spreading,
    courts have also argued that applying strict
    liability places responsibility (liability) on
    the same entities and individuals that control
    the design, specifications, manufacturing
    tolerances, material specifications, and
    condition of the final product as it is delivered
    to the ultimate customer.

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Role Responsibility
  • Role-Responsibility Whenever a person occupies
    a distinctive place or office in a Social
    organization, to which specific duties are
    attachedhe or she is properly said to be
    responsible for the performance of these duties,
    or for doing what is necessary to fulfill them.
  • Such duties are a persons (role)
    responsibilities.

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The Concept of Role Responsibility
  • Whenever a person occupies a distinctive place
    or office in a Social organization, to which
    specific duties are attachedhe or she is
    properly said to be responsible for the
    performance of these duties, or for doing what is
    necessary to fulfill them. Such duties are a
    persons (role) responsibilities.
  • The term "role includes tasks assigned to people
    by agreement or otherwise.
  • The term role-responsibility generally refers to
    a situation where a certain person occupies a
    distinct place or office in a social
    organization, and particular duties are attached
    to this role in order to provide for the welfare
    of others or to advance in some specific way the
    objectives or functions of the concerned
    organization.
  • It is necessary to differentiate
  • Internal role responsibility responsibility
    for the role one plays as a member of an
    organization or profession
  • External role responsibility responsibility
    for the role one plays in the larger society and
    culture

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Role Responsibilities in Professional
Engineering
  • Role responsibilities are often recognized as
    professional responsibilities, and one of the key
    issues of engineering ethics is to formulate the
    relevant sets of responsibilities that can be
    attached to the roles of the members of the
    engineering community
  • What are the duties and obligations that are
    attached to an individual or group of engineers
    with respect to their role in a professional
    organization, corporation, or society?
  • How best can engineers fulfill their role
    responsibilities, duties and obligations?

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Role Mapping
  • Without a way to effectively connect the various
    responsibilities that people in organizations
    have with their roles in the organization,
    accountability may not be able to be established
    and this can allow people to avoid responsibility
    for their decisions and/or their actions
  • Role Mapping techniques are essential in order
    to ensure appropriate matching of roles and
    responsibilities across the organization.
  • Role Mapping-who does what in terms of roles
    what is each persons commitment/promise of
    performance and how does it contribute to overall
    organizational results.
  • This includes
  • Clarify organizational goals and objectives
  • Identify every employees personal accountability
    for both results and values
  • Measure performance of both the organization and
    every employee

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Role Mapping
  • Clarifies unexpected complexity, problem areas,
    redundancy, unnecessary loops, and tasks where
    simplification and standardization may be
    possible
  • Helps identifies roles and responsibilities, thus
    supporting more effective allocation of staff
    resources and more effective stakeholder
    partnerships

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Moral Responsibility
  • To say a person is responsible in this sense is
    to say that the person is deserving of blame.
  • This sense of "responsible" seems to imply fault.
  • That is, when we say people are responsible in
    this sense we are evaluating their behavior
    relative to some principle or standard.
  • Those responsible in this evaluative sense may
    also be responsible in one of the other senses of
    the term
  • an assessment of responsibility in one of the
    first three senses is often the basis for
    attributing responsibility in this fourth sense
  • Moral Responsibility Accountability for the
    actions one performs and the consequences they
    bring about, for which a moral agent could be
    justly punished or rewarded. It is commonly held
    to require the agent's freedom to have done
    otherwise (autonomy). 
  • Moral responsibility is a normative notionit
    involves an evaluation
  • Connected to other concepts such as duty,
    obligation, knowledge, freedom, choice,
    accountability, agency, praise, blame, intention,
    pride, guilt, shame, conscience, and character

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Two Types of Moral Responsibility
  • The assignment of moral responsibility based on
    the attribution of accountability to a moral
    agent, where the moral agent acted freely and
    possessed the capacity for rational choice and
    the agent has acted voluntarily
  • Moral Responsibility in the second sense reflects
    a positive judgment about the manner in which the
    moral agent has deliberated and the particular
    way they choose to act

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  • Types of Moral Responsibility Attribution
  • Depending on the kind of responsibility, there
    are different mechanisms for attributing
    responsibility
  • Responsibility can be attributed
  • Ex Ante (Before something happens) as in I take
    full responsibility that nothing will go wrong
  • Ex Post (After something happens) as in I take
    full responsibility for everything that went
    wrong
  • Assignment of responsibility is not an all or
    nothing affair individuals can be assigned
    various degrees of responsibility based on a
    variety of influencing factors

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Ascriptions of Individual Moral Responsibility
  • To hold someone morally responsible for their
    actions or omissions,
  • At least five conditions need to be met
  • That the subject had some role to play in the
    particular chain of events
  • That the person was competent to understand their
    role in the chain of events, and that their
    competency is relevant to the issue at hand
  • That the person act voluntarily, and if not, what
    precluded or diminished their capacity to act
    voluntarily?
  • That the person was able to influence the chain
    of events, and if not, what precluded or
    diminished their capacity to influence the chain
    of events?
  • That the person was aware of the effects of their
    actions and knew about the results and their own
    power of influence or lack of power
  • Related concepts Rationality, Freedom,
    Intentionality, Autonomy

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A Reasonable Care Model of Professional
Responsibility
  • (1) As a member of a profession taking on a
    specific role in a large organization
    (corporation, government), E has a duty to
    conform to the standard operating procedures of
    his or her profession as well as fulfilling all
    of the responsibilities which are attached to
    that particular role within the organization.
  • At time t, decision or action (X) conforms to
    the standard of reasonable care and of role
    responsibility as defined in (1)
  • E omits to execute decision or action (X) at
    time t (culpable ignorance may be relevant here)
  • Harm (H) is caused to some person or group of
    persons (P) as a result of Es failure (f) to
    decide or do X (HP EfX)

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Moral Responsibility and Role Responsibility
  • Questions of accountability are often raised when
    an individual or group is thought to be
    responsible for a failed technology.
  • For example, the breaking of a dam may be the
    result of such factors as honest mistakes in
    statics or dynamics analyses careless,
    negligent, or even criminal misconduct
    incompetence and the use of substandard
    materials

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Moral Responsibility and Free Will
  • Instances of coercion and constraint may exempt
    agents from judgments of moral responsibility
  • Coercion and constraint mean the imposition of
    some external force that compels or precludes a
    particular choice or a particular action itself
  • Consideration of the form and degree of external
    force imposed can affect the extent to which one
    considers an action to have been less than
    voluntary or non-voluntary
  • Principle the greater the threat imposed by some
    external source, the more it eliminates freedom
    of choice
  • The more freedom of choice is eliminated, the
    less voluntary actions become
  • Some threats reduce the voluntariness of an
    actions by making any other choice extremely
    difficulty for an individual to make in the face
    of the relevant threat
  • The greater the coercion or constraint, the less
    likely we will consider the action voluntary and
    the less moral responsibility we will assign to
    the agent
  • One often can be excused from being held
    responsible for an action if the moral agent was
    coerced or forced to perform the action contrary
    or against the agents free will

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Comparing Liability and Moral Responsibility
Liability Particular Derives from legislation
in force in a certain time and place Limited
Applies only to specific People at specific times
or places Divisible It can be delegated or
distributed It can be waived Sometimes not
applicable, implemented or enforced Punishable
Moral Responsibility Universal Ethical
principles aspire to universality in that they
are not limited to particular people or
particular groups or societies Unlimited It
applies to any person in the same
situation Indivisible It cannot be delegated
nor distributed It cannot be waived it always
applies Not based on punishment except social
shame or guilty conscience
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Legal Liability vs. Moral Responsibility
  • The essential characteristics of liability
    responsibility demonstrate its limitations as a
    legitimate response in many areas of engineering,
    technology, and science
  • Examples Nuclear Technology, Biotechnology,
    Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence

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Accountability
  • Responsibility and blameworthiness are only a
    part of what is covered when we apply the robust
    and intuitive notion of accountability
  • When we say someone is accountable for a harm, we
    may also mean that he or she is liable to
    punishment (e.g., must pay a fine, be censured by
    a professional organization, go to jail), or is
    liable to compensate a victim (usually by paying
    damages).
  • In most actual cases these different strands of
    responsibility, censure, and compensation
    converge because those who are to blame for harms
    are usually those who must pay in some way or
    other for them.

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3 Motivations for Accountability
  • Accountability as a virtue that is desirable in
    its own right
  • Accountability as a guideline for answerability
    which motivates precautionary behavior that, in
    turn, caters to social welfare
  • Accountability as a tracing too that allows us, a
    posteriori, to identify the people involved in
    accidents and damage-inducing errors, punish the
    responsible if necessary and compensate the
    victims if possible

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conceptual foundations of accountability
accountability
responsibility, fault, guilt
individuality, personhood
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A Typology of Moral Accountability
Malice
Recklessness
Blameworthy
Negligence
Incompetence
Human Actions/Behavior
Competence
Due Diligence
Praiseworthy
Dutiful
Supererogatory
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A Typology of Moral Accountability
  • Malice to set out on a course of action with the
    deliberate aim of imposing harm or risks to
    people
  • Recklessness to act knowing that it will cause
    harm or risk, but not taking this properly into
    account
  • Negligence the failure to exercise in the given
    circumstances that degree of care for the safety
    of others which a reasonable person would
    exercise under the same or similar circumstances
  • Incompetence  not qualified or suited for a
    purpose showing lack of skill or aptitude "a
    bungling workman" "did a clumsy job" "his
    fumbling attempt to put up a shelf"
  • Competence qualified or suited for a purpose
    showing appropriate skill or aptitude
  • Due Diligence the exercise in the given
    circumstances that degree of care for the safety
    of others which a reasonable person would
    exercise under the same or similar circumstances
  • Dutiful to know what the right thing to do is
    and to do it regardless of how it effects you
  • Supererogatory behavior going above and beyond
    the call of duty

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A Typology of Moral Accountability
  • What is the difference between ignorance and
    incompetence?
  • Ignorance is when you do something wrong because
    you do not know any better
  • Incompetence is when you do something wrong even
    though you do or should know better

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Responsibility vs. Accountability
  • Accountability
  • Implies imminence of retribution for unfulfilled
    trust or violated obligations
  • The focus is more upon what others expect from
    the person who is accountable
  • Other-Centered
  • Includes judgment and the extent of judgment for
    the success or failure to do, complete, or
    protect that for which a person is held
    accountable
  • Accountability always assumes a prior
    responsibility for we always lay out what we
    expect before we can lay out what the
    consequences will be for failure to meet the
    expectations
  • Responsibility
  • Implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust
  • The focus is on what can and should do an
    individuals personal integrity with respect to a
    specific task
  • I-Centered
  • One has a clear duty to perform an action and
    take care to carry it out or bring something to
    fruition
  • While being responsible always has other persons
    in mind, the focus of meaning is upon the
    individuals effort, duty, and obligation

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Responsibility vs. Accountability
  • Accountability
  • Liable to be called to account answerable
  • Refers to how the individual will be judged and
    thus either rewarded or punished
  • A person is accountable only when we know they
    have to answer to being punished
  • If someone is accountable, it is assumed a
    responsible party be able to meet the demands of
    the higher authority to whom they will give their
    accounting
  • Accountability focuses for the most part upon all
    of the elements of duty after the decision is
    made
  • When accountable one is duty bound externally or
    one imposes a much stronger duty upon themselves
    to answer to any actions which may cause harm or
    damage to those they are accountable for
  • Responsibility
  • We call someone responsible when we judge the
    persons motives, intentions, and carefulness
    with respect to the task
  • We can be responsible without being held
    accountable to anyone in particular
  • Responsibility focuses for the most part upon all
    the elements of duty up to the point of decision
  • The major difference is the certainty or strength
    of implied/suggested duty
  • When responsible one may be asked or take it upon
    themselves to be morally responsible for the
    actions they take, for themselves, or others

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Responsibility vs. Accountability
  • Accountability
  • Accountability "Ill pay a price if I dont do
    it right." 
  • Required to explain or justify all of the
    reasons for ones actions
  • Accepting personal liability for ones actions,
    accepting ones actions and the consequences
  • When we know that we must answer with respect to
    how well we accomplished the task and what reward
    or punishment was meted out for failing at the
    task
  • Responsibility
  • Responsibility "Ill do it.
  • A sense of obligation, commitment, etc.
  • Includes exercising ones judgments with regard
    to the powers and authority of discretion one has

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The Social Nature of Responsibility
  • Moral responsibility is assigned with the
    understanding that the moral agent who has
    voluntarily chosen and acted is the product of
    numerous social institutions (family, community,
    professional society, etc.) and all the
    subsequent societal influences that mold and
    individual into what they will become
  • The assignment of moral responsibility can be
    understood as a social practice that serves the
    crucial function of calling the agents attention
    to her or his effects on the world as well as the
    individuals relationships and obligations to
    other persons in the world
  • The assignment of responsibility is related to
    the development of an attitude of care and
    concern for ones effects, relationships and
    duties
  • The assignment of responsibility and the
    processes of being held accountable for your
    (voluntary) actions is part of a ingenious
    practice of social control by which the community
    furthers its common ends and interests (Smiley,
    1992 238-254)
  • Smiley, Marion (1992) Moral Responsibility and
    the Boundaries of Community Chicago University
    of Chicago Press

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The Social Nature of Responsibility
  • Moral responsibility is the basis for praise or
    blame, reward or punishment, fame or infamy
  • These mechanisms are essential ways in which
    communities may effect personal change in their
    members toward behavior that is more in line with
    collective (social, cultural) ends and values
  • Example Judgments of praise and blame, when
    internalized, create social emotions such as
    guilt, shame, regret, remorse, pride, etcin our
    response to how we interacted with and treated
    othersthat contribute to the development of
    conscience (Gaylin and Jennings, 1996 137-49)
  • Praise and Blame form part of the organization of
    social adaptation which operates through the
    assignment of responsibility and of holding
    people accountable for their actions and
    attitudes
  • Moral Responsibility becomes an aspect of our
    social practice of blaming (Smiley 252)

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The Social Nature of Responsibility
  • This works in the pluralistic liberal democracy
    of the USA by a tacit agreement between members
    of this large community (country)
  • It is agreed that individuals are free to
    choose a way of life free of coercion or
    constraints provided that individuals realize
    that these free choices are subject to judgment
    and criticism by others in the community if an
    individual is judged to have crossed the line
  • Principle of Liberalism I am free to do
    whatever I please as long as in pursuing my ends
    I do not inhibit another persons right to do
    whatever they please
  • Moral Responsibility in this first sense is
    mainly an assignment of accountability by the
    communal will (an external judgment) which, in
    turn, reserves the right to constrain anothers
    actions so that they are in accord with the
    values of the community

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Moral Responsibility as a Virtue
  • Moral responsibility in the second sense it is
    a virtue
  • Moral responsibility as a virtue requires
  • the acceptance and internalization of moral
    accountability (responsibility in the first
    sense)
  • with the addition of care and concern for oneself
    and for other people
  • The disposition to deliberate, decide, and then
    take action in ways that ones respected
    community can judge to be morally worthy of
    rightness and praise Acting in this way one
    really embodies the virtue of moral
    responsibility
  • The Virtue of Moral Responsibility
  • A cognitive element the process of rational
    deliberation about what to do in connection with
    all the relationships and obligations which arise
    is a social network
  • An affective (emotional) element expressed in
    the genuine care and concern for how an
    individual responds to their world, in their
    thoughts and actions and their effects on others,
    as well as towards the community as a whole

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Moral Responsibility as a Virtue
  • The Virtue of Moral Responsibility
  • Starts to develop once a person has internalized
    the acceptance to be held accountable for his or
    her own free and autonomous choices and actions
  • One then develops a genuine concern about the
    consequences of ones actions and how ones
    actions will or will not measure up to the
    societal norms tacitly agreed upon by the
    individual when they entered the community they
    belong to
  • A person could, for instance, take complete
    responsibility for their actions but yet not care
    in what manner their actions impacted other
    people nor the social relationships and bonds
    they form with them
  • Moral Responsibility as a Virtue includes the
    element of altruism or the genuine care and
    concern for the well-being of others and a strong
    commitment to deliberate and make moral choices
    consistent with the social ethic, acting only on
    the internalized norms of the moral community
    in which one lives and partakes (Nussbaum, 19XX
    Card, 1996). Claudia Card
  • Social Responsibility is also considered a Virtue
    by some researchers (Etzioni, 1993 11 May 1992)

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CULPABLE IGNORANCE
  • Culpable ignorance when one fails to know
    something that they should have known
  • Culpable ignorance an individual rejects or
    avoids knowledge they should be aware of. This
    can result from laziness, incompetence, or
    intention
  • Culpable Ignorance can be either direct or
    indirect
  • Direct voluntary ignorance is when one decides to
    not know it is done deliberately
  • Indirect voluntary ignorance is when one
    could/should have known but remained in ignorance
    it was done without due diligence
  • Due diligence taking care to make sure you
    learn something that you should know

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CULPABLE IGNORANCE
  • Culpable ignorance is a case where ignorance of
    the facts surrounding a situation does not
    diminish the responsibility of the moral agent
    for unwanted or immoral outcomes of an action.
  • This is usually because some degree of due
    diligence or reasonable care has not been taken
    by the agent in question.
  • Due diligence means that the agent in question
    failed to do know something that they could be
    reasonably expected to know and this led to the
    performance of the immoral act.
  • For example, a doctor kills a patient by
    administering penicillin to a patient that is
    allergic. The doctor was unaware of the allergy
    because they had failed to investigate the
    patients history.
  • Epistemic responsibility
  • Epistemic conditions on moral responsibility

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CULPABLE IGNORANCE
  • Culpable ignorance is a case where ignorance of
    the facts surrounding a situation does not
    diminish the responsibility of the moral agent
    for unwanted or immoral outcomes of an action.
  • Even though the agent acted in good faith at the
    time, we say that they should have known better
    or they should have realised what they were
    doing and so they are still blameworthy for the
    immoral outcomes of their action, even though
    these outcomes were not intended.
  • It is culpable ignorance because it could be
    cleared up if the person used sufficient
    diligence.
  • You were capable of knowing something, and you
    should have taken pains to come to know it.
  • One is said to be culpably ignorant if one fails
    to make enough effort to learn what should be
    known guilt then depends on one's lack of effort
    to clear up the ignorance

41
Culpable Ignorance
  • What is the difference between culpable and
    non-culpable ignorance?
  • The criterion for determining culpable ignorance,
    is if harm is likely to result and the agent
    could have found out about the likely
    circumstances of the action
  • We should be expected to know in general what
    kinds of effects will result from familiar types
    of actions, even if we cant predict the exact
    details
  • For example, there is an historical record of
    human-made disasters, and the causes of them can
    be determined and understood by identifying
    general categories of belief and action, as well
    as design and technical breakdown of engineered
    systems
  • The SHOT model is an example of this

42
Culpable Ignorance
  • Some things are unpredictable in detail, but are
    familiar enough that one would be culpable not to
    expect them if they fit into our categorical
    scheme SHOT
  • Those who perform actions that have potentially
    disastrous consequences can be morally culpable
    even if they cannot foresee the specific
    consequences
  • They are culpable because experience has shown
    that one should expect certain kinds of events
  • In general, we have an ethical duty to find out
    what the likely effects of our actions are

43
Culpable Ignorance
  • In considering culpable ignorance, typically one
    is concerned with ignorance of fact.
  • But there is also another type of culpable
    ignorance called ignorance of moral principle.
    One can fail to know what one ought to do in a
    particular case.
  • One can fail to know some general moral rule.
  • One can fail to know that people have certain
    rights or that one has certain responsibilities
  • An omission may be culpable on account of some
    special position of role or other responsibility
    held by the agent

44
Moral Accountability and Excusing Conditions
  • When someone is the cause of some wrongdoing,
    they are not automatically considered responsible
    and hence accountable. The law and ethics
    recognizes certain, valid excusing conditions
  • Ignorance Excuse 
  • Is it possible to know?
  • Could we, or should we have known?
  • Would a reasonable person considered the
    possibility?
  • If not excusable ignorance
  • If impossible for us to know invincible
    ignorance
  • Lack of Freedom Excuse 
  • Four conditions
  • No alternatives not even lack of action
  • Lack of control
  • External coercion force
  • Internal coercion Illness, passion,
    uncontrollable psychological compulsion, etc.

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Theory of Negligence
  • Negligence has come to define the expected
    standard of conduct replacing, for some people,
    ideas of honor, propriety, and simple right and
    wrong
  • No case of actionable negligence will arise
    unless the duty to be careful exists
  • A person is considered negligent or careless if
    they do not exercise the kind of due care that is
    appropriate to the particular situation in
    question
  • Negligent omission failing to act when the
    person has a duty to act

46
Negligence
  • The law of negligence imposes a duty to think
    before you act.
  • The ordinary care standard imposes a social
    standard which is judged by members of the
    community who may or may not agree with your
    evaluation of your own conduct.
  • Therefore, it is important to look at your acts
    and omissions from the stand point of others in
    the community who will be judging your conduct.
  • If you have negligence concerns, ask
  • 1. What would members of the community require me
    to do under these circumstances
  • 2. What would members of the community forbid me
    to do under these circumstances
  • 3. What would members of my profession/vocation/ca
    lling require of me under these circumstances
  • 4. What would members of my profession/vocation/ca
    lling counsel me to avoid under these
    circumstances
  • 5. What are the risks of my conduct, considering
    the probability of harm and the degree of injury
    or damage that would result if an accident
    occurred and
  • 6. Would ordinary people in the community believe
    that I am taking reasonable risks?

47
Proving Negligence
  • Negligence is 'conduct which falls below the
    standard established by law for the protection of
    others against unreasonable risk of harm' 4.
  • In order to establish liability for damage, the
    courts analyze the following four elements
  • duty
  • breach
  • proximate cause
  • damages.

48
Proving Negligence
  • Negligence the injured party (plaintiff) must
    prove
  • a) that the party alleged to be negligent had a
    duty to the injured party-specifically to the one
    injured or to the general public,
  • b) that the defendant's action (or failure to
    act) was negligent-not what a reasonably prudent
    person would have done because it did not fulfill
    the standard of care typical of how any similar
    engineer would judge and act in similar
    situations
  • c) that the damages were caused ("proximately
    caused") by the negligence.
  • d) That the damages were "reasonably foreseeable"
    at the time of the alleged negligence.

49
Standard of Care
  • In legal cases, a judge or jury, has to determine
    what the standard of care is and whether an
    engineer has failed to achieve that level of
    performance.
  • They do so by hearing expert testimony.
  • People who are qualified as experts express
    opinions as to the standard of care and as to the
    defendant engineer's performance relative to that
    standard.
  • The testimony from all sides is weighted and then
    a decision is made what the standard of care was
    and whether the defendant met it

50
Standard of Care
  • Jury instructions have been standardized. A Bench
    Approved Jury Instruction (BAJI, 1986) reads
  • "In performing professional services for a
    client, a (structural engineer) has the duty to
    have that degree of learning and skill ordinarily
    possessed by reputable (structural engineers),
    practicing in the same or similar locality and
    under similar circumstances.
  • It is (the structural engineer's) further duty to
    use the care and skill ordinarily used in like
    cases by reputable members of the (structural
    engineering) profession practicing in the same or
    similar locality under similar circumstances, and
    to use reasonable diligence and (the structural
    engineer's) best judgment in the exercise of
    professional skill and in the application of
    learning, in an effort to accomplish the purpose
    for which (the structural engineer) was employed.
  • A failure to fulfill any such duty is negligence"

51
Standard of Care
  • Three key items in this instruction bear
    repeating
  • ...have learning and skill ordinarily possessed
    by reputable engineers practicing in the same or
    similar locality and under similar circumstances.
  • ...use care and skill ordinarily possessed by
    reputable engineers practicing in the same or
    similar locality and under similar circumstances.
  • ...use reasonable diligence and best judgment to
    accomplish the purpose for which the engineer was
    employed.
  • If any one of these conditions is not met, the
    engineer has failed to meet the standard of care,
    and is professionally negligent.

52
Comparative Negligence
  • Negligence involving joint tortfeasorsJoint
    Tortfeasors (wrongdoers) two or more persons
    whose negligence in a single accident or event
    causes damages to another person.
  • In many cases the joint tortfeasors are jointly
    and severally liable for the damages, meaning
    that any of them can be responsible to pay the
    entire amount, no matter how unequal the
    negligence of each party was.
  • Example Harry Hotrod is doing 90 miles an hour
    along a two-lane road in the early evening,
  • Adele Aimster has stopped her car to study a map
    with her car sticking out into the lane by six
    inches.
  • Hotrod swings out a couple of feet to miss
    Aimster's vehicle, never touches the brake, and
    hits Victor Victim, driving from the other
    direction, killing him.
  • While Hotrod is grossly negligent for the high
    speed and failure to slow down, Aimster is also
    negligent for her car's slight intrusion into the
    lane. As a joint tortfeasor she may have to pay
    all the damages, particularly if Hotrod has no
    money or insurance.
  • However, comparative negligence rules by statute
    or case law in most jurisdictions will apportion
    the liability by percentages of negligence among
    the tortfeasors and the injured parties.

53
Res Ipsa Loquitur (The Thing Speaks for Itself)
  • (rayz ip-sah loh-quit-her) n. Latin for "the
    thing speaks for itself,"
  • A doctrine of law that one is presumed to be
    negligent if he/she had exclusive control of
    whatever caused the injury even though there is
    no specific evidence of an act of negligence, and
    without negligence the accident would not have
    happened.
  • Examples a) a load of bricks on the roof of a
    building being constructed by High-rise
    Construction Co. falls and injures Paul
    Pedestrian below
  • High-rise is liable for Pedestrian's injury even
    though no one saw the load fall.
  • b) While under anesthetic, Isabel Patient's nerve
    in her arm is damaged although it was not part of
    the surgical procedure, and she is unaware of
    which of a dozen medical people in the room
    caused the damage.
  • Under res ipsa loquitur all those connected with
    the operation are liable for negligence.
  • Lawyers often shorten the doctrine to "res ips,"
    and find it a handy shorthand for a complex
    doctrine.

54
Negligence Per Se
  • Negligence due to the violation of a public duty,
    such as high speed driving.
  • In Blacks Law Dictionary negligence per se is
    defined as Conduct, whether of action or
    omission, which may be declared and treated as
    negligence without any argument or proof as to
    the particular surrounding circumstances, either
    because it is in violation of a statute or valid
    municipal ordinance, or because it is so palpably
    opposed to the dictates of common prudence that
    it can be said without hesitation or doubt that
    no careful person would have been guilty of it.
  • As a general rule, the violation of a public
    duty, enjoined by law for the protection of
    person or property, so constitutes."

55
Recklessness
  • Recklessness An injury caused by conduct that is
    more than mere carelessness but less than actual
    intent to cause harm
  • Recklessness Carelessness in reckless disregard
    for the safety of the lives of others. It is more
    than simple inadvertence but it is less than
    being consciously intent on causing harm
  • Gross negligence is another way of saying
    recklessness
  • Culpable negligence a degree of carelessness
    greater than simple negligence. It is a negligent
    act or omission accompanied by a culpable
    disregard for the foreseeable consequences of
    that act or omission

56
Intention
  • Intend To fix the mind upon (something to be
    accomplished) to be intent upon to mean to
    design to plan to purpose
  • Intend have in mind as a purpose to design for
    a specific purpose.
  • Intend to act with purpose mean design plan
    conceive contemplate.
  • Intentionality expressive of intentions

57
Barriers to Responsibility and Accountability
  1. The Social Psychology of Identification of Ones
    Role in Social Interaction (The Zimbardo
    Experiment)
  2. Obedience to Authority in Social Contexts (The
    Milgram Experiment)
  3. The Problem of Many Hands
  4. Diffusion of Responsibility
  5. Risky Shift Phenomena

58
Introduction Zimbardo Experiment
  • Why do human beings, even seemingly normal
    people, sometimes commit despicable acts?
  • One answer points to individual dispositions
    another answer emphasizes situational pressures.
  • For example, In 2005, Secretary of State
    Condoleezza Rice stressed the importance of
    individual dispositions in describing terrorists
    as "simply evil people who want to kill."
  • The Theory of Situational Context (TSC) rejects
    this view.
  • It hypothesizes that horrible acts can be
    committed by perfectly normal people.
  • The TSC view has received strong support from
    some of the most famous experiments in social
    science, conducted by the psychologist Stanley
    Milgram in the early 1960s. (See below The
    Milgram Experiment slides)
  • The TSC view has also received strong support
    from another famous experiment in social
    psychology The Zimbardo Experiment

59
Role Responsibility and The Zimbardo Experiment
  • To study the roles people play in prison
    situations, Zimbardo converted a basement of the
    Stanford University psychology building into a
    mock prison.
  • They advertised for students to play the roles of
    prisoners and guards for a two-week period.
  • Zimbardo selected the 21 applicants who seemed
    the healthiest, maturest and most 'normal'. At
    random 11 were assigned the role of 'guards', 10
    the role of 'prisoners'.
  • The guards were given an official-looking
    uniform the prisoners something like a prison
    uniform and toothbrush, towels and bed linen. No
    personal belongings were allowed in the cells.
  • Zimbardo and the guards worked out a set of rules
    which prisoners were expected to memorize and
    follow.
  • Prisoners were required to work to earn their 15
    per day and were allowed prisoners twice per week
  • Guards were allowed to give certain rewards for
    good behavior.

60
Role Responsibility and The Zimbardo Experiment
  • On the first day, the 'count' of the prisoners
    (carried out three times per day) took ten
    minutes.
  • By the second day, the 'count' time had increased
    as the guards started to use it to harass the
    prisoners and by the fifth day the 'count'
    occupied several hours as the guards berated the
    prisoners for minor infractions of the rules.
  • The prisoners carried out a real insurrection,
    which was put down quickly by the guards.
  • The guards then proceeded to punish the prisoners
    for their disobedience and protest
  • Instead of protesting, some of the prisoners
    began to act in depressed, dependent ways, just
    like many real prisoners and inmates of
    institutions.
  • They deteriorated into learned helplessness,
    becoming ever more subdued and depressed, and
    acting zombie-like
  • The more they acted in that way, the more they
    were mistreated.
  • The behavior of the guards was one of growing
    cruelty, aggression and dehumanization
  • They stripped the prisoners hooded them,
    chained them, denied them food or bedding
    privileges, put them into solitary confinement,
    and made them clean toilet bowels with their bare
    hands

61
Zimbardo Experiment
  • By the end of the sixth day, the situation had
    deteriorated to such an extent, with guards
    inventing new rules to make the prison regime
    more punitive, that Zimbardo called a halt to the
    experiment.
  • Zimbardo said in his book that the mock prison
    had to be shut down because "the ugliest, most
    base, pathological side of human nature
    surfaced.
  • The important question for ethics becomes What
    caused it to surface?
  • Was it simply deep down inside of each
    individual?
  • Or, did the particular situation that they were
    put into cause them to act like they did?
  • The analysis of the results showed that the
    subjects simply 'became' the roles they played.
    More than a third of the guards behaved in such a
    hostile manner consistently, that Zimbardo
    described their behavior as sadistic.
  • This was despite the fact that the roles were
    assigned at random and there was absolutely no
    prior evidence that any of the subjects was
    inclined to behave as they did.

62
Zimbardo Experiment
  • In his book The Lucifer Effect Understanding How
    Good People Turn Evil, Zimbardo explains the full
    meaning of Stanford Prison Experiment.
  • Generalizing from original results of the
    experiment, he suggests that dispositionism
    (i.e., that the propensity to do good or evil
    resides in our personal dispositions or
    characters or temperament) is a serious error,
    that good and evil are largely a function of our
    contexts and our roles, and that almost all of us
    are capable of real evil, given the proper
    situation. The theory is called situationism.
  • Zimbardo uses his experiment to cast light on
    diverse problems, including
  • the conduct of American soldiers at Abu Ghraib,
  • airplane accidents,
  • human inaction in the face of evident cruelty,
  • the mistreatment of patients in hospitals, and
  • the behavior of suicide bombers and terrorists in
    general
  • Watch a documentary of the experiment, explained
    by Dr. ZImbardo at www.prisonexp.org

63
Obedience to Authority A Barrier to Responsibility
Milgram experiment (late 1960s Yale University)
  • In the experiment ordinary men and women were
    brought in to participate in what they were told
    was a study of memory.
  • When they arrived at the laboratory they were
    told that they were to play the role of teacher.
  • They had to read a series of word pairs to
    another person on the other side of a partition.
  • In the experiment, so-called "teachers" (who were
    actually the
  • unknowing subjects of the experiment) were
    recruited by Milgram.
  • They were asked administer an electric shock of
    increasing intensity to a
  • "learner" for each mistake he made during the
    experiment.
  • The fictitious story given to these "teachers"
    was that the experiment was exploring effects of
    punishment (for incorrect responses) on learning
    behavior.
  • The "teacher" was not aware that the "learner" in
    the study was actually a compatriot of Milgrams
    - - merely feigning discomfort as the "teacher"
    increased the electric shocks.

64
Milgram experiment
  • When the "teacher" asked whether increased shocks
    should be given he/she was verbally encouraged to
    continue.
  • Sixty percent of the "teachers" obeyed orders to
    punish the learner to the very end of the
    450-volt scale!
  • No subject stopped before reaching 300 volts!
  • At times, the worried "teachers" questioned the
    experimenter, asking
  • who was responsible for any harmful effects
    resulting from shocking the earner at such a high
    level.
  • Upon receiving the answer that the experimenter
    assumed full responsibility, teachers seemed to
    accept the response and continue shocking, even
    though some were obviously extremely
    uncomfortable in doing so.
  • The study raised many questions about how the
    subjects could bring themselves to administer
    such heavy shocks.

65
Milgram experiment
  • The apparent shocks were delivered by a simulated
    shock generator, offering thirty clearly
    delineated voltage levels, ranging from 15 to 450
    volts, accompanied by verbal descriptions ranging
    from "Slight Shock" to "XXX."
  • As the experiment unfolded, the subject was asked
    to administer increasingly severe shocks for
    incorrect answers, well past the "Danger, Severe
    Shock" level, which began at 375 volts.
  • The mechanism for administering the shocks had 30
    levels or settings raging from 15 to 450 volts,
    so that the maximum number of shocks that could
    be given was 30. Milgram devised a set of four
    prods that the experimenter gave to subjects
    who asked whether they should continue to
    administer shocks (Milgram, 197421)
  • please continue,
  • the experiment requires you to continue,
  • it is absolutely essential that you continue,
    and
  • you have no other choice, you must go on.
  • These prods were made in sequence and if the
    subject refused to obey after prod 4, the
    experiment was terminated.

66
(No Transcript)
67
Milgram experiment
  • The expected break-off point is the "Very Strong
    Shock" of 195 volts. In Milgram's experiment,
    however, every one of the forty subjects went
    beyond 300 volts.
  • A large majority--twenty-six of the forty
    subjects, or 65 percent--went to the full
    450-volt shock, five steps beyond "Danger, Severe
    Shock."
  • Replications of Milgram's experiments, with
    thousands of diverse people in numerous
    countries, show essentially the same behavior.
  • And women do not behave differently from men.
  • Milgram concluded that ordinary people will
    follow orders even if the result is to produce
    great suffering in innocent others.

68
Obedience to Authority Studies
Milgram experiment
  • The Surveillance Effect
  • There is clear evidence from Milgram's study that
    the presence of the experimenter helped to
    increase obedience. When he left the room,
    obedience dropped from 65 to 21. The same thing
    happens in classrooms, offices and factory floors
    as well.
  • The Buffer Effect
  • The buffer in the Milgram experiment was the wall
    between teacher and learner. Milgram showed that
    if the teacher was personally required to hold
    the learners hand on the shock plate, then
    obedience dropped from 65 to 40.
  • It seemed that the more direct the interaction
    between the teacher and the learner, the lower
    the obedience would be.
  • Milgram tested this theory in reverse by
    conducting an experiment where the teacher was
    required to pull a lever which would cause
    another person to administer the shocks.
  • In this case the obedience level went up from 65
    to 93.

69
Milgram and Zimbardo Experiments and Ethics
  • Both the Zimbardo and Milgram experiments shed
    light on the situational affects on a human
    psyche
  • It sheds light on the philosophical debate over
    the nature of responsibility and accountability
  • Are only individuals totally responsible for
    their actions or could their environment or
    situation be implicated in causing their
    behavior?
  • "How do average even admirable people become
    dehumanized by the critical circumstances
    pressing in on them?" asked the famous
    philosopher Hannah Arendt in her book about the
    Nuremburg Trials, The Banality of Evil. This is
    what she called the phenomena because the German
    officers who committed atrocious acts were no
    more evil than any other person in their inner
    character
  • What, is blind obedience?

70
Milgram and Zimbardo Experiments and Ethics
  • . In his book, Obedience to Authority, Milgram
    concludes that "A substantial proportion of
    people do what they are told to do, irrespective
    of the content of the act and without limitations
    of conscience, so long as they perceive that the
    command comes from a legitimate authority."
  • But, what constitutes legitimate authority is
    the crucial question.
  • "What encourages obedience?
  • Is it fear of punishment or negative
    repercussions?
  • A desire to please?
  • A need to go along with the group?
  • A blind faith in authority?"

71
Situationism and Professional Contexts
  • In a typical workplace, employers are the
    authority figures and employees are subordinates
    to them
  • This relationship of superior to subordinate can
    lead to abuses.
  • For one thing the employer holds your job, your
    paycheck, and your livelihood over your head,
    so to speak
  • If they threaten to deprive you of any or all of
    these if you fail to do as you are told, what
    should you do?
  • Can you be excused from being responsible or
    accountable for your actions because your boss
    coerced you to do things you thought were wrong?

72
The Problem of Many HandsA Barrier to
Accountability
  • Because so many people contribute in so many
    different ways, it is very difficult to determine
    who is accountable for organizational behavior.
  • It can often be extremely difficult to determine
    an individual's contribution to failures in large
    organizations or large engineering projects where
    many people participate and add their particular
    skills or expertise (in fact, the same goes for
    successes).
  • The case studies you will analyze in this course
    begin to suggest some of the ethical implications
    that ensue from the diffusion of responsibility
    in engineering ethics contexts, particularly in
    the design and operation of complex technological
    artifacts and systems.

73
The Problem of Many HandsA Barrier to
Accountability
  • One philosopher notes that "With respect to
    complex organizations, the problem of many hands
    often turns the quest for responsibility into a
    quest for the Holy Grail
  • Bovins, B. (1998). The quest for Responsibility
    Accountability and Citizenship in Complex
    Organizations. Cambridge Cambridge University
    Press.
  • In many cases we simply cannot isolate individual
    contributions to organizational action. This
    suggests not only that we lack some of the basic
    incentives that could be used to increase
    individual effort in pursuit of quality, but that
    the ability to achieve justice in organizations
    is compromised.
  • Research on decision making shows that some
    layers of the organizational hierarchy are
    responsible for decisions that are more visible,
    concrete, limited in time, and identifiable with
    specific individuals than are others

74
The Problem of Many Hands
  • It is quite natural to assume that when mistakes
    are committed, we can associate it with the
    particular decision behind it
  • If this decision leads to adverse consequences,
    it is assumed that the decision maker is at fault
  • This is an unwarranted assumption, as legal
    scholars well know.
  • People at the top and bottom of organizations
    tend not to be blamed when accidents happen
  • Braithewaite, J. (1998) The allocation of
    responsibility for corporate crime
    Individualism, collectivism, and accountability,
    Sidney Law Review 12 468-513.
  • The focus is usually on the managers in the
    middle because, although they exhibit enough
    seniority to make important and visible
    decisions, they are not senior enough to be able
    to hide behind the diffusion of responsibility
    that provides top management cover
  • Empirical research confirms this Decision making
    at the operational level tends to be highly
    visible and are marked by clearly defined
    beginning, middle, and end states
  • Top management decisions are more fluid,
    evolutionary, consensual, and temporal, where
    negations are carried on with numerous
    individuals and groups over a period of time

75
The Doctrine of Many Eyes
  • Many eyes as a solution to the problem of many
    hands
  • Given enough morally responsible individuals
    (many eyes) the network of accountability can
    be managed
  • In a responsible organization, the many eyes that
    watch the many hands are a watchdog that could
    prevent risk and harm
  • A culture of responsibility can develop if only
    because one can fix the errors of another
  • Engineers have a responsibility to address the
    errors of their co-worker engineers working on
    the same project
  • The motivation and ability to prevent risk and
    harm is increased, not by the fear of punishment
    but rather by the desire to maintain a respectful
    standing within the profession or social group
  • By ensuring that engineering projects be free of
    risk by guaranteeing that enough eyes watch the
    many hands that work or operate technologies, and
    by accommodating new modes of collaborative moral
    accountability through socialnot legal
    mechanisms, one can hope that the barriers to
    accountability will diminish
  • A framework for moral and ethical debates needs
    to be developed that can accommodate meaningful
    discussions about exercising due care in
    engineering design and practice when working on
    large projects and/or in large organizations
  • Related to the concept of social responsibility

76
The Diffusion of Responsibility Phenomenon
  • The Genovese Effect
  • Kitty Genovese Murder NY, NY 1964
  • Fought off murderer he returned again and again
  • Rape and murder took full half hour
  • No one came to her assistance
  • Police determined that at least 38 neighbors were
  • aware of the attack
  • Unresponsive Bystander Effect

77
Diffusion of Responsibility
  • The tendency for persons in a group situation to
    fail to take action because others are present,
    thus diffusing the responsibility for acting. A
    major factor in inhibiting bystanders from
    intervening in emergencies
  • People are much more likely to intervene if they
    are alone rather than in the presence of others,
    especially if the other is a stranger
  • Experiment Reasoned that the presence of a
    stranger weakened individual responses by
    diffusing their sense of responsibility
  • Finding If individuals have their efforts
    identified when they are part of a cohesive
    highly moral group, they will exert even more
    effort than they would if they were only working
    for their own personal benefit
  • Finding If the roles and responsibilities of
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Title: Responsibility, Accountability, and Liability:


1
Responsibility, Accountability, and
Liability Studies in the Theory of
Responsibility for Engineering Ethics and
Engineering Accountability
A mans ethical behavior should be based
effectively on sympathy, education and social
ties no religious basis is necessary. Man would
be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by
fear of punishment and hope of reward after
death -- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) We
live as if the world were as it should be, to
show what it can be
2
The Importance of Understanding the Concept of
Responsibility
  • My hypothesis is that technological risks,
    vulnerabilities and failures often occur because
    responsibilities are inappropriately assigned. If
    we can construct some model for the
    responsibility of actions taken or tasks
    performed, that, for example may have lead to a
    technological disaster, we are poised to make
    better decisions about the ascription of moral
    responsibility and accountability
  • This will reduce vulnerabilities and subsequent
    failures and disasters
  • To usefully reason about responsibilities in a
    complex socio-technical system, we must have some
    way of modeling the responsibility itself (in
    addition to, and distinct from, the important
    task of modeling the assignment of
    responsibilities)

3
The Concept of Responsibility
  • Four-Fold Definition of Responsibility
  • Causal Responsibility
  • Liability-Responsibility
  • Role-Responsibility
  • Moral-Responsibility

4
Causal Responsibility
  • A purely descriptive sense of responsibility
  • The heavy rain is responsible for the flooding
  • The operator was responsible for turning off the
    control switch
  • The But-For conception of being causally
    responsible
  • X was causally responsible for Y
  • But for the occurrence of X, Y would not have
    happened
  • For Example But for the operator turning the
    switch, the control would not have went off

5
The Concept of Liability
  • Liability for ones actions means that one can
    rightly be made to pay for the adverse effects of
    ones actions on others
  • Automobile liability insurance is intended to
    cover the costs of damage to other persons or
    property
  • We are usually liable for such payments as long
    as we are causally responsible, even if our
    actions were unintentional
  • Liability, does not necessarily involve moral
    responsibility for the action

6
Strict Liability
  • It means that no excusing conditions are
    applicable or accepted
  • Responsibility without fault
  • Strict Products Liability
  • Part of the debate about legal liability concerns
    where the line should be drawn when assigning
    strict liability

7
Strict Products Liability
  • Charges of strict liability in torts (harms) are
    generally assigned to manufacturers for products
    that are in a defective condition or
    unreasonably dangerous.
  • That liability can be assigned regardless of
    whether the defendant has been negligent or has
    been careful (applying accepted standards of care
    for the product, its design, its manufacture, its
    assembly and associated warnings).
  • In order to prove strict liability, the plaintiff
    need not prove that the defendant's action fell
    below society's expectation for reasonable
    behavior. Instead, the plaintiff must prove that
    the product per se was in a defective condition
    unreasonably dangerous. It is certainly true that
    negligent behavior can result in a product in a
    defective condition unreasonably dangerous. The
    plaintiff may, of course pursue both theories of
    liability at the same time

8
Strict Products Liability
  • In order to apply strict liability for products,
    courts have required the following
  • The 'product' was in a 'defective condition
    resulting in a product that is unreasonably
    dangerous'. Defects can be created by
    manufacture, assembly, design, warning labels,
    marketing, etc.
  • The defendant was in the 'stream of commerce'
    that produces the product and/or delivers the
    product to the customer (manufacturer,
    subcontractor, wholesaler, distributor, retailer,
    etc.).
  • The product was defective when it left the
    defendant's hands.
  • The product was intended to reach the plaintiff
    without substantial change.
  • The defect caused in fact) physical harm to the
    plaintiff. (Strict liability in torts may relieve
    the plaintiff of responsibility for unforeseeable
    misuse, abuse, alterations and other defenses

9
Strict Products Liability
  • The rationale used by courts for imposing strict
    liability in tort includes three principles 1)
    deterrence, 2) loss spreading, and 3)
    responsibility
  • Deterrence courts have stated that strict
    liability in torts encourage manufacturers (and
    others in the 'stream of commerce') to make
    products safer. This increased liability may make
    products more expensive, but courts argue that
    the increased price more accurately reflects the
    true social costs of the products.
  • Loss spreading courts have stated that strict
    liability spreads losses that would be a hardship
    upon individuals, but the manufacturer (and
    others in the 'stream of commerce') can offset
    the increased risk by purchasing insurance. The
    ethical basis of this principle is utilitarianism
  • In addition to deterrence and loss spreading,
    courts have also argued that applying strict
    liability places responsibility (liability) on
    the same entities and individuals that control
    the design, specifications, manufacturing
    tolerances, material specifications, and
    condition of the final product as it is delivered
    to the ultimate customer.

10
Role Responsibility
  • Role-Responsibility Whenever a person occupies
    a distinctive place or office in a Social
    organization, to which specific duties are
    attachedhe or she is properly said to be
    responsible for the performance of these duties,
    or for doing what is necessary to fulfill them.
  • Such duties are a persons (role)
    responsibilities.

11
The Concept of Role Responsibility
  • Whenever a person occupies a distinctive place
    or office in a Social organization, to which
    specific duties are attachedhe or she is
    properly said to be responsible for the
    performance of these duties, or for doing what is
    necessary to fulfill them. Such duties are a
    persons (role) responsibilities.
  • The term "role includes tasks assigned to people
    by agreement or otherwise.
  • The term role-responsibility generally refers to
    a situation where a certain person occupies a
    distinct place or office in a social
    organization, and particular duties are attached
    to this role in order to provide for the welfare
    of others or to advance in some specific way the
    objectives or functions of the concerned
    organization.
  • It is necessary to differentiate
  • Internal role responsibility responsibility
    for the role one plays as a member of an
    organization or profession
  • External role responsibility responsibility
    for the role one plays in the larger society and
    culture

12
Role Responsibilities in Professional
Engineering
  • Role responsibilities are often recognized as
    professional responsibilities, and one of the key
    issues of engineering ethics is to formulate the
    relevant sets of responsibilities that can be
    attached to the roles of the members of the
    engineering community
  • What are the duties and obligations that are
    attached to an individual or group of engineers
    with respect to their role in a professional
    organization, corporation, or society?
  • How best can engineers fulfill their role
    responsibilities, duties and obligations?

13
Role Mapping
  • Without a way to effectively connect the various
    responsibilities that people in organizations
    have with their roles in the organization,
    accountability may not be able to be established
    and this can allow people to avoid responsibility
    for their decisions and/or their actions
  • Role Mapping techniques are essential in order
    to ensure appropriate matching of roles and
    responsibilities across the organization.
  • Role Mapping-who does what in terms of roles
    what is each persons commitment/promise of
    performance and how does it contribute to overall
    organizational results.
  • This includes
  • Clarify organizational goals and objectives
  • Identify every employees personal accountability
    for both results and values
  • Measure performance of both the organization and
    every employee

14
Role Mapping
  • Clarifies unexpected complexity, problem areas,
    redundancy, unnecessary loops, and tasks where
    simplification and standardization may be
    possible
  • Helps identifies roles and responsibilities, thus
    supporting more effective allocation of staff
    resources and more effective stakeholder
    partnerships

15
Moral Responsibility
  • To say a person is responsible in this sense is
    to say that the person is deserving of blame.
  • This sense of "responsible" seems to imply fault.
  • That is, when we say people are responsible in
    this sense we are evaluating their behavior
    relative to some principle or standard.
  • Those responsible in this evaluative sense may
    also be responsible in one of the other senses of
    the term
  • an assessment of responsibility in one of the
    first three senses is often the basis for
    attributing responsibility in this fourth sense
  • Moral Responsibility Accountability for the
    actions one performs and the consequences they
    bring about, for which a moral agent could be
    justly punished or rewarded. It is commonly held
    to require the agent's freedom to have done
    otherwise (autonomy). 
  • Moral responsibility is a normative notionit
    involves an evaluation
  • Connected to other concepts such as duty,
    obligation, knowledge, freedom, choice,
    accountability, agency, praise, blame, intention,
    pride, guilt, shame, conscience, and character

16
Two Types of Moral Responsibility
  • The assignment of moral responsibility based on
    the attribution of accountability to a moral
    agent, where the moral agent acted freely and
    possessed the capacity for rational choice and
    the agent has acted voluntarily
  • Moral Responsibility in the second sense reflects
    a positive judgment about the manner in which the
    moral agent has deliberated and the particular
    way they choose to act

17
  • Types of Moral Responsibility Attribution
  • Depending on the kind of responsibility, there
    are different mechanisms for attributing
    responsibility
  • Responsibility can be attributed
  • Ex Ante (Before something happens) as in I take
    full responsibility that nothing will go wrong
  • Ex Post (After something happens) as in I take
    full responsibility for everything that went
    wrong
  • Assignment of responsibility is not an all or
    nothing affair individuals can be assigned
    various degrees of responsibility based on a
    variety of influencing factors

18
Ascriptions of Individual Moral Responsibility
  • To hold someone morally responsible for their
    actions or omissions,
  • At least five conditions need to be met
  • That the subject had some role to play in the
    particular chain of events
  • That the person was competent to understand their
    role in the chain of events, and that their
    competency is relevant to the issue at hand
  • That the person act voluntarily, and if not, what
    precluded or diminished their capacity to act
    voluntarily?
  • That the person was able to influence the chain
    of events, and if not, what precluded or
    diminished their capacity to influence the chain
    of events?
  • That the person was aware of the effects of their
    actions and knew about the results and their own
    power of influence or lack of power
  • Related concepts Rationality, Freedom,
    Intentionality, Autonomy

19
A Reasonable Care Model of Professional
Responsibility
  • (1) As a member of a profession taking on a
    specific role in a large organization
    (corporation, government), E has a duty to
    conform to the standard operating procedures of
    his or her profession as well as fulfilling all
    of the responsibilities which are attached to
    that particular role within the organization.
  • At time t, decision or action (X) conforms to
    the standard of reasonable care and of role
    responsibility as defined in (1)
  • E omits to execute decision or action (X) at
    time t (culpable ignorance may be relevant here)
  • Harm (H) is caused to some person or group of
    persons (P) as a result of Es failure (f) to
    decide or do X (HP EfX)

20
Moral Responsibility and Role Responsibility
  • Questions of accountability are often raised when
    an individual or group is thought to be
    responsible for a failed technology.
  • For example, the breaking of a dam may be the
    result of such factors as honest mistakes in
    statics or dynamics analyses careless,
    negligent, or even criminal misconduct
    incompetence and the use of substandard
    materials

21
Moral Responsibility and Free Will
  • Instances of coercion and constraint may exempt
    agents from judgments of moral responsibility
  • Coercion and constraint mean the imposition of
    some external force that compels or precludes a
    particular choice or a particular action itself
  • Consideration of the form and degree of external
    force imposed can affect the extent to which one
    considers an action to have been less than
    voluntary or non-voluntary
  • Principle the greater the threat imposed by some
    external source, the more it eliminates freedom
    of choice
  • The more freedom of choice is eliminated, the
    less voluntary actions become
  • Some threats reduce the voluntariness of an
    actions by making any other choice extremely
    difficulty for an individual to make in the face
    of the relevant threat
  • The greater the coercion or constraint, the less
    likely we will consider the action voluntary and
    the less moral responsibility we will assign to
    the agent
  • One often can be excused from being held
    responsible for an action if the moral agent was
    coerced or forced to perform the action contrary
    or against the agents free will

22
Comparing Liability and Moral Responsibility
Liability Particular Derives from legislation
in force in a certain time and place Limited
Applies only to specific People at specific times
or places Divisible It can be delegated or
distributed It can be waived Sometimes not
applicable, implemented or enforced Punishable
Moral Responsibility Universal Ethical
principles aspire to universality in that they
are not limited to particular people or
particular groups or societies Unlimited It
applies to any person in the same
situation Indivisible It cannot be delegated
nor distributed It cannot be waived it always
applies Not based on punishment except social
shame or guilty conscience
23
Legal Liability vs. Moral Responsibility
  • The essential characteristics of liability
    responsibility demonstrate its limitations as a
    legitimate response in many areas of engineering,
    technology, and science
  • Examples Nuclear Technology, Biotechnology,
    Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence

24
Accountability
  • Responsibility and blameworthiness are only a
    part of what is covered when we apply the robust
    and intuitive notion of accountability
  • When we say someone is accountable for a harm, we
    may also mean that he or she is liable to
    punishment (e.g., must pay a fine, be censured by
    a professional organization, go to jail), or is
    liable to compensate a victim (usually by paying
    damages).
  • In most actual cases these different strands of
    responsibility, censure, and compensation
    converge because those who are to blame for harms
    are usually those who must pay in some way or
    other for them.

25
3 Motivations for Accountability
  • Accountability as a virtue that is desirable in
    its own right
  • Accountability as a guideline for answerability
    which motivates precautionary behavior that, in
    turn, caters to social welfare
  • Accountability as a tracing too that allows us, a
    posteriori, to identify the people involved in
    accidents and damage-inducing errors, punish the
    responsible if necessary and compensate the
    victims if possible

26
conceptual foundations of accountability
accountability
responsibility, fault, guilt
individuality, personhood
27
A Typology of Moral Accountability
Malice
Recklessness
Blameworthy
Negligence
Incompetence
Human Actions/Behavior
Competence
Due Diligence
Praiseworthy
Dutiful
Supererogatory
28
A Typology of Moral Accountability
  • Malice to set out on a course of action with the
    deliberate aim of imposing harm or risks to
    people
  • Recklessness to act knowing that it will cause
    harm or risk, but not taking this properly into
    account
  • Negligence the failure to exercise in the given
    circumstances that degree of care for the safety
    of others which a reasonable person would
    exercise under the same or similar circumstances
  • Incompetence  not qualified or suited for a
    purpose showing lack of skill or aptitude "a
    bungling workman" "did a clumsy job" "his
    fumbling attempt to put up a shelf"
  • Competence qualified or suited for a purpose
    showing appropriate skill or aptitude
  • Due Diligence the exercise in the given
    circumstances that degree of care for the safety
    of others which a reasonable person would
    exercise under the same or similar circumstances
  • Dutiful to know what the right thing to do is
    and to do it regardless of how it effects you
  • Supererogatory behavior going above and beyond
    the call of duty

29
A Typology of Moral Accountability
  • What is the difference between ignorance and
    incompetence?
  • Ignorance is when you do something wrong because
    you do not know any better
  • Incompetence is when you do something wrong even
    though you do or should know better

30
Responsibility vs. Accountability
  • Accountability
  • Implies imminence of retribution for unfulfilled
    trust or violated obligations
  • The focus is more upon what others expect from
    the person who is accountable
  • Other-Centered
  • Includes judgment and the extent of judgment for
    the success or failure to do, complete, or
    protect that for which a person is held
    accountable
  • Accountability always assumes a prior
    responsibility for we always lay out what we
    expect before we can lay out what the
    consequences will be for failure to meet the
    expectations
  • Responsibility
  • Implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust
  • The focus is on what can and should do an
    individuals personal integrity with respect to a
    specific task
  • I-Centered
  • One has a clear duty to perform an action and
    take care to carry it out or bring something to
    fruition
  • While being responsible always has other persons
    in mind, the focus of meaning is upon the
    individuals effort, duty, and obligation

31
Responsibility vs. Accountability
  • Accountability
  • Liable to be called to account answerable
  • Refers to how the individual will be judged and
    thus either rewarded or punished
  • A person is accountable only when we know they
    have to answer to being punished
  • If someone is accountable, it is assumed a
    responsible party be able to meet the demands of
    the higher authority to whom they will give their
    accounting
  • Accountability focuses for the most part upon all
    of the elements of duty after the decision is
    made
  • When accountable one is duty bound externally or
    one imposes a much stronger duty upon themselves
    to answer to any actions which may cause harm or
    damage to those they are accountable for
  • Responsibility
  • We call someone responsible when we judge the
    persons motives, intentions, and carefulness
    with respect to the task
  • We can be responsible without being held
    accountable to anyone in particular
  • Responsibility focuses for the most part upon all
    the elements of duty up to the point of decision
  • The major difference is the certainty or strength
    of implied/suggested duty
  • When responsible one may be asked or take it upon
    themselves to be morally responsible for the
    actions they take, for themselves, or others

32
Responsibility vs. Accountability
  • Accountability
  • Accountability "Ill pay a price if I dont do
    it right." 
  • Required to explain or justify all of the
    reasons for ones actions
  • Accepting personal liability for ones actions,
    accepting ones actions and the consequences
  • When we know that we must answer with respect to
    how well we accomplished the task and what reward
    or punishment was meted out for failing at the
    task
  • Responsibility
  • Responsibility "Ill do it.
  • A sense of obligation, commitment, etc.
  • Includes exercising ones judgments with regard
    to the powers and authority of discretion one has

33
The Social Nature of Responsibility
  • Moral responsibility is assigned with the
    understanding that the moral agent who has
    voluntarily chosen and acted is the product of
    numerous social institutions (family, community,
    professional society, etc.) and all the
    subsequent societal influences that mold and
    individual into what they will become
  • The assignment of moral responsibility can be
    understood as a social practice that serves the
    crucial function of calling the agents attention
    to her or his effects on the world as well as the
    individuals relationships and obligations to
    other persons in the world
  • The assignment of responsibility is related to
    the development of an attitude of care and
    concern for ones effects, relationships and
    duties
  • The assignment of responsibility and the
    processes of being held accountable for your
    (voluntary) actions is part of a ingenious
    practice of social control by which the community
    furthers its common ends and interests (Smiley,
    1992 238-254)
  • Smiley, Marion (1992) Moral Responsibility and
    the Boundaries of Community Chicago University
    of Chicago Press

34
The Social Nature of Responsibility
  • Moral responsibility is the basis for praise or
    blame, reward or punishment, fame or infamy
  • These mechanisms are essential ways in which
    communities may effect personal change in their
    members toward behavior that is more in line with
    collective (social, cultural) ends and values
  • Example Judgments of praise and blame, when
    internalized, create social emotions such as
    guilt, shame, regret, remorse, pride, etcin our
    response to how we interacted with and treated
    othersthat contribute to the development of
    conscience (Gaylin and Jennings, 1996 137-49)
  • Praise and Blame form part of the organization of
    social adaptation which operates through the
    assignment of responsibility and of holding
    people accountable for their actions and
    attitudes
  • Moral Responsibility becomes an aspect of our
    social practice of blaming (Smiley 252)

35
The Social Nature of Responsibility
  • This works in the pluralistic liberal democracy
    of the USA by a tacit agreement between members
    of this large community (country)
  • It is agreed that individuals are free to
    choose a way of life free of coercion or
    constraints provided that individuals realize
    that these free choices are subject to judgment
    and criticism by others in the community if an
    individual is judged to have crossed the line
  • Principle of Liberalism I am free to do
    whatever I please as long as in pursuing my ends
    I do not inhibit another persons right to do
    whatever they please
  • Moral Responsibility in this first sense is
    mainly an assignment of accountability by the
    communal will (an external judgment) which, in
    turn, reserves the right to constrain anothers
    actions so that they are in accord with the
    values of the community

36
Moral Responsibility as a Virtue
  • Moral responsibility in the second sense it is
    a virtue
  • Moral responsibility as a virtue requires
  • the acceptance and internalization of moral
    accountability (responsibility in the first
    sense)
  • with the addition of care and concern for oneself
    and for other people
  • The disposition to deliberate, decide, and then
    take action in ways that ones respected
    community can judge to be morally worthy of
    rightness and praise Acting in this way one
    really embodies the virtue of moral
    responsibility
  • The Virtue of Moral Responsibility
  • A cognitive element the process of rational
    deliberation about what to do in connection with
    all the relationships and obligations which arise
    is a social network
  • An affective (emotional) element expressed in
    the genuine care and concern for how an
    individual responds to their world, in their
    thoughts and actions and their effects on others,
    as well as towards the community as a whole

37
Moral Responsibility as a Virtue
  • The Virtue of Moral Responsibility
  • Starts to develop once a person has internalized
    the acceptance to be held accountable for his or
    her own free and autonomous choices and actions
  • One then develops a genuine concern about the
    consequences of ones actions and how ones
    actions will or will not measure up to the
    societal norms tacitly agreed upon by the
    individual when they entered the community they
    belong to
  • A person could, for instance, take complete
    responsibility for their actions but yet not care
    in what manner their actions impacted other
    people nor the social relationships and bonds
    they form with them
  • Moral Responsibility as a Virtue includes the
    element of altruism or the genuine care and
    concern for the well-being of others and a strong
    commitment to deliberate and make moral choices
    consistent with the social ethic, acting only on
    the internalized norms of the moral community
    in which one lives and partakes (Nussbaum, 19XX
    Card, 1996). Claudia Card
  • Social Responsibility is also considered a Virtue
    by some researchers (Etzioni, 1993 11 May 1992)

38
CULPABLE IGNORANCE
  • Culpable ignorance when one fails to know
    something that they should have known
  • Culpable ignorance an individual rejects or
    avoids knowledge they should be aware of. This
    can result from laziness, incompetence, or
    intention
  • Culpable Ignorance can be either direct or
    indirect
  • Direct voluntary ignorance is when one decides to
    not know it is done deliberately
  • Indirect voluntary ignorance is when one
    could/should have known but remained in ignorance
    it was done without due diligence
  • Due diligence taking care to make sure you
    learn something that you should know

39
CULPABLE IGNORANCE
  • Culpable ignorance is a case where ignorance of
    the facts surrounding a situation does not
    diminish the responsibility of the moral agent
    for unwanted or immoral outcomes of an action.
  • This is usually because some degree of due
    diligence or reasonable care has not been taken
    by the agent in question.
  • Due diligence means that the agent in question
    failed to do know something that they could be
    reasonably expected to know and this led to the
    performance of the immoral act.
  • For example, a doctor kills a patient by
    administering penicillin to a patient that is
    allergic. The doctor was unaware of the allergy
    because they had failed to investigate the
    patients history.
  • Epistemic responsibility
  • Epistemic conditions on moral responsibility

40
CULPABLE IGNORANCE
  • Culpable ignorance is a case where ignorance of
    the facts surrounding a situation does not
    diminish the responsibility of the moral agent
    for unwanted or immoral outcomes of an action.
  • Even though the agent acted in good faith at the
    time, we say that they should have known better
    or they should have realised what they were
    doing and so they are still blameworthy for the
    immoral outcomes of their action, even though
    these outcomes were not intended.
  • It is culpable ignorance because it could be
    cleared up if the person used sufficient
    diligence.
  • You were capable of knowing something, and you
    should have taken pains to come to know it.
  • One is said to be culpably ignorant if one fails
    to make enough effort to learn what should be
    known guilt then depends on one's lack of effort
    to clear up the ignorance

41
Culpable Ignorance
  • What is the difference between culpable and
    non-culpable ignorance?
  • The criterion for determining culpable ignorance,
    is if harm is likely to result and the agent
    could have found out about the likely
    circumstances of the action
  • We should be expected to know in general what
    kinds of effects will result from familiar types
    of actions, even if we cant predict the exact
    details
  • For example, there is an historical record of
    human-made disasters, and the causes of them can
    be determined and understood by identifying
    general categories of belief and action, as well
    as design and technical breakdown of engineered
    systems
  • The SHOT model is an example of this

42
Culpable Ignorance
  • Some things are unpredictable in detail, but are
    familiar enough that one would be culpable not to
    expect them if they fit into our categorical
    scheme SHOT
  • Those who perform actions that have potentially
    disastrous consequences can be morally culpable
    even if they cannot foresee the specific
    consequences
  • They are culpable because experience has shown
    that one should expect certain kinds of events
  • In general, we have an ethical duty to find out
    what the likely effects of our actions are

43
Culpable Ignorance
  • In considering culpable ignorance, typically one
    is concerned with ignorance of fact.
  • But there is also another type of culpable
    ignorance called ignorance of moral principle.
    One can fail to know what one ought to do in a
    particular case.
  • One can fail to know some general moral rule.
  • One can fail to know that people have certain
    rights or that one has certain responsibilities
  • An omission may be culpable on account of some
    special position of role or other responsibility
    held by the agent

44
Moral Accountability and Excusing Conditions
  • When someone is the cause of some wrongdoing,
    they are not automatically considered responsible
    and hence accountable. The law and ethics
    recognizes certain, valid excusing conditions
  • Ignorance Excuse 
  • Is it possible to know?
  • Could we, or should we have known?
  • Would a reasonable person considered the
    possibility?
  • If not excusable ignorance
  • If impossible for us to know invincible
    ignorance
  • Lack of Freedom Excuse 
  • Four conditions
  • No alternatives not even lack of action
  • Lack of control
  • External coercion force
  • Internal coercion Illness, passion,
    uncontrollable psychological compulsion, etc.

45
Theory of Negligence
  • Negligence has come to define the expected
    standard of conduct replacing, for some people,
    ideas of honor, propriety, and simple right and
    wrong
  • No case of actionable negligence will arise
    unless the duty to be careful exists
  • A person is considered negligent or careless if
    they do not exercise the kind of due care that is
    appropriate to the particular situation in
    question
  • Negligent omission failing to act when the
    person has a duty to act

46
Negligence
  • The law of negligence imposes a duty to think
    before you act.
  • The ordinary care standard imposes a social
    standard which is judged by members of the
    community who may or may not agree with your
    evaluation of your own conduct.
  • Therefore, it is important to look at your acts
    and omissions from the stand point of others in
    the community who will be judging your conduct.
  • If you have negligence concerns, ask
  • 1. What would members of the community require me
    to do under these circumstances
  • 2. What would members of the community forbid me
    to do under these circumstances
  • 3. What would members of my profession/vocation/ca
    lling require of me under these circumstances
  • 4. What would members of my profession/vocation/ca
    lling counsel me to avoid under these
    circumstances
  • 5. What are the risks of my conduct, considering
    the probability of harm and the degree of injury
    or damage that would result if an accident
    occurred and
  • 6. Would ordinary people in the community believe
    that I am taking reasonable risks?

47
Proving Negligence
  • Negligence is 'conduct which falls below the
    standard established by law for the protection of
    others against unreasonable risk of harm' 4.
  • In order to establish liability for damage, the
    courts analyze the following four elements
  • duty
  • breach
  • proximate cause
  • damages.

48
Proving Negligence
  • Negligence the injured party (plaintiff) must
    prove
  • a) that the party alleged to be negligent had a
    duty to the injured party-specifically to the one
    injured or to the general public,
  • b) that the defendant's action (or failure to
    act) was negligent-not what a reasonably prudent
    person would have done because it did not fulfill
    the standard of care typical of how any similar
    engineer would judge and act in similar
    situations
  • c) that the damages were caused ("proximately
    caused") by the negligence.
  • d) That the damages were "reasonably foreseeable"
    at the time of the alleged negligence.

49
Standard of Care
  • In legal cases, a judge or jury, has to determine
    what the standard of care is and whether an
    engineer has failed to achieve that level of
    performance.
  • They do so by hearing expert testimony.
  • People who are qualified as experts express
    opinions as to the standard of care and as to the
    defendant engineer's performance relative to that
    standard.
  • The testimony from all sides is weighted and then
    a decision is made what the standard of care was
    and whether the defendant met it

50
Standard of Care
  • Jury instructions have been standardized. A Bench
    Approved Jury Instruction (BAJI, 1986) reads
  • "In performing professional services for a
    client, a (structural engineer) has the duty to
    have that degree of learning and skill ordinarily
    possessed by reputable (structural engineers),
    practicing in the same or similar locality and
    under similar circumstances.
  • It is (the structural engineer's) further duty to
    use the care and skill ordinarily used in like
    cases by reputable members of the (structural
    engineering) profession practicing in the same or
    similar locality under similar circumstances, and
    to use reasonable diligence and (the structural
    engineer's) best judgment in the exercise of
    professional skill and in the application of
    learning, in an effort to accomplish the purpose
    for which (the structural engineer) was employed.
  • A failure to fulfill any such duty is negligence"

51
Standard of Care
  • Three key items in this instruction bear
    repeating
  • ...have learning and skill ordinarily possessed
    by reputable engineers practicing in the same or
    similar locality and under similar circumstances.
  • ...use care and skill ordinarily possessed by
    reputable engineers practicing in the same or
    similar locality and under similar circumstances.
  • ...use reasonable diligence and best judgment to
    accomplish the purpose for which the engineer was
    employed.
  • If any one of these conditions is not met, the
    engineer has failed to meet the standard of care,
    and is professionally negligent.

52
Comparative Negligence
  • Negligence involving joint tortfeasorsJoint
    Tortfeasors (wrongdoers) two or more persons
    whose negligence in a single accident or event
    causes damages to another person.
  • In many cases the joint tortfeasors are jointly
    and severally liable for the damages, meaning
    that any of them can be responsible to pay the
    entire amount, no matter how unequal the
    negligence of each party was.
  • Example Harry Hotrod is doing 90 miles an hour
    along a two-lane road in the early evening,
  • Adele Aimster has stopped her car to study a map
    with her car sticking out into the lane by six
    inches.
  • Hotrod swings out a couple of feet to miss
    Aimster's vehicle, never touches the brake, and
    hits Victor Victim, driving from the other
    direction, killing him.
  • While Hotrod is grossly negligent for the high
    speed and failure to slow down, Aimster is also
    negligent for her car's slight intrusion into the
    lane. As a joint tortfeasor she may have to pay
    all the damages, particularly if Hotrod has no
    money or insurance.
  • However, comparative negligence rules by statute
    or case law in most jurisdictions will apportion
    the liability by percentages of negligence among
    the tortfeasors and the injured parties.

53
Res Ipsa Loquitur (The Thing Speaks for Itself)
  • (rayz ip-sah loh-quit-her) n. Latin for "the
    thing speaks for itself,"
  • A doctrine of law that one is presumed to be
    negligent if he/she had exclusive control of
    whatever caused the injury even though there is
    no specific evidence of an act of negligence, and
    without negligence the accident would not have
    happened.
  • Examples a) a load of bricks on the roof of a
    building being constructed by High-rise
    Construction Co. falls and injures Paul
    Pedestrian below
  • High-rise is liable for Pedestrian's injury even
    though no one saw the load fall.
  • b) While under anesthetic, Isabel Patient's nerve
    in her arm is damaged although it was not part of
    the surgical procedure, and she is unaware of
    which of a dozen medical people in the room
    caused the damage.
  • Under res ipsa loquitur all those connected with
    the operation are liable for negligence.
  • Lawyers often shorten the doctrine to "res ips,"
    and find it a handy shorthand for a complex
    doctrine.

54
Negligence Per Se
  • Negligence due to the violation of a public duty,
    such as high speed driving.
  • In Blacks Law Dictionary negligence per se is
    defined as Conduct, whether of action or
    omission, which may be declared and treated as
    negligence without any argument or proof as to
    the particular surrounding circumstances, either
    because it is in violation of a statute or valid
    municipal ordinance, or because it is so palpably
    opposed to the dictates of common prudence that
    it can be said without hesitation or doubt that
    no careful person would have been guilty of it.
  • As a general rule, the violation of a public
    duty, enjoined by law for the protection of
    person or property, so constitutes."

55
Recklessness
  • Recklessness An injury caused by conduct that is
    more than mere carelessness but less than actual
    intent to cause harm
  • Recklessness Carelessness in reckless disregard
    for the safety of the lives of others. It is more
    than simple inadvertence but it is less than
    being consciously intent on causing harm
  • Gross negligence is another way of saying
    recklessness
  • Culpable negligence a degree of carelessness
    greater than simple negligence. It is a negligent
    act or omission accompanied by a culpable
    disregard for the foreseeable consequences of
    that act or omission

56
Intention
  • Intend To fix the mind upon (something to be
    accomplished) to be intent upon to mean to
    design to plan to purpose
  • Intend have in mind as a purpose to design for
    a specific purpose.
  • Intend to act with purpose mean design plan
    conceive contemplate.
  • Intentionality expressive of intentions

57
Barriers to Responsibility and Accountability
  1. The Social Psychology of Identification of Ones
    Role in Social Interaction (The Zimbardo
    Experiment)
  2. Obedience to Authority in Social Contexts (The
    Milgram Experiment)
  3. The Problem of Many Hands
  4. Diffusion of Responsibility
  5. Risky Shift Phenomena

58
Introduction Zimbardo Experiment
  • Why do human beings, even seemingly normal
    people, sometimes commit despicable acts?
  • One answer points to individual dispositions
    another answer emphasizes situational pressures.
  • For example, In 2005, Secretary of State
    Condoleezza Rice stressed the importance of
    individual dispositions in describing terrorists
    as "simply evil people who want to kill."
  • The Theory of Situational Context (TSC) rejects
    this view.
  • It hypothesizes that horrible acts can be
    committed by perfectly normal people.
  • The TSC view has received strong support from
    some of the most famous experiments in social
    science, conducted by the psychologist Stanley
    Milgram in the early 1960s. (See below The
    Milgram Experiment slides)
  • The TSC view has also received strong support
    from another famous experiment in social
    psychology The Zimbardo Experiment

59
Role Responsibility and The Zimbardo Experiment
  • To study the roles people play in prison
    situations, Zimbardo converted a basement of the
    Stanford University psychology building into a
    mock prison.
  • They advertised for students to play the roles of
    prisoners and guards for a two-week period.
  • Zimbardo selected the 21 applicants who seemed
    the healthiest, maturest and most 'normal'. At
    random 11 were assigned the role of 'guards', 10
    the role of 'prisoners'.
  • The guards were given an official-looking
    uniform the prisoners something like a prison
    uniform and toothbrush, towels and bed linen. No
    personal belongings were allowed in the cells.
  • Zimbardo and the guards worked out a set of rules
    which prisoners were expected to memorize and
    follow.
  • Prisoners were required to work to earn their 15
    per day and were allowed prisoners twice per week
  • Guards were allowed to give certain rewards for
    good behavior.

60
Role Responsibility and The Zimbardo Experiment
  • On the first day, the 'count' of the prisoners
    (carried out three times per day) took ten
    minutes.
  • By the second day, the 'count' time had increased
    as the guards started to use it to harass the
    prisoners and by the fifth day the 'count'
    occupied several hours as the guards berated the
    prisoners for minor infractions of the rules.
  • The prisoners carried out a real insurrection,
    which was put down quickly by the guards.
  • The guards then proceeded to punish the prisoners
    for their disobedience and protest
  • Instead of protesting, some of the prisoners
    began to act in depressed, dependent ways, just
    like many real prisoners and inmates of
    institutions.
  • They deteriorated into learned helplessness,
    becoming ever more subdued and depressed, and
    acting zombie-like
  • The more they acted in that way, the more they
    were mistreated.
  • The behavior of the guards was one of growing
    cruelty, aggression and dehumanization
  • They stripped the prisoners hooded them,
    chained them, denied them food or bedding
    privileges, put them into solitary confinement,
    and made them clean toilet bowels with their bare
    hands

61
Zimbardo Experiment
  • By the end of the sixth day, the situation had
    deteriorated to such an extent, with guards
    inventing new rules to make the prison regime
    more punitive, that Zimbardo called a halt to the
    experiment.
  • Zimbardo said in his book that the mock prison
    had to be shut down because "the ugliest, most
    base, pathological side of human nature
    surfaced.
  • The important question for ethics becomes What
    caused it to surface?
  • Was it simply deep down inside of each
    individual?
  • Or, did the particular situation that they were
    put into cause them to act like they did?
  • The analysis of the results showed that the
    subjects simply 'became' the roles they played.
    More than a third of the guards behaved in such a
    hostile manner consistently, that Zimbardo
    described their behavior as sadistic.
  • This was despite the fact that the roles were
    assigned at random and there was absolutely no
    prior evidence that any of the subjects was
    inclined to behave as they did.

62
Zimbardo Experiment
  • In his book The Lucifer Effect Understanding How
    Good People Turn Evil, Zimbardo explains the full
    meaning of Stanford Prison Experiment.
  • Generalizing from original results of the
    experiment, he suggests that dispositionism
    (i.e., that the propensity to do good or evil
    resides in our personal dispositions or
    characters or temperament) is a serious error,
    that good and evil are largely a function of our
    contexts and our roles, and that almost all of us
    are capable of real evil, given the proper
    situation. The theory is called situationism.
  • Zimbardo uses his experiment to cast light on
    diverse problems, including
  • the conduct of American soldiers at Abu Ghraib,
  • airplane accidents,
  • human inaction in the face of evident cruelty,
  • the mistreatment of patients in hospitals, and
  • the behavior of suicide bombers and terrorists in
    general
  • Watch a documentary of the experiment, explained
    by Dr. ZImbardo at www.prisonexp.org

63
Obedience to Authority A Barrier to Responsibility
Milgram experiment (late 1960s Yale University)
  • In the experiment ordinary men and women were
    brought in to participate in what they were told
    was a study of memory.
  • When they arrived at the laboratory they were
    told that they were to play the role of teacher.
  • They had to read a series of word pairs to
    another person on the other side of a partition.
  • In the experiment, so-called "teachers" (who were
    actually the
  • unknowing subjects of the experiment) were
    recruited by Milgram.
  • They were asked administer an electric shock of
    increasing intensity to a
  • "learner" for each mistake he made during the
    experiment.
  • The fictitious story given to these "teachers"
    was that the experiment was exploring effects of
    punishment (for incorrect responses) on learning
    behavior.
  • The "teacher" was not aware that the "learner" in
    the study was actually a compatriot of Milgrams
    - - merely feigning discomfort as the "teacher"
    increased the electric shocks.

64
Milgram experiment
  • When the "teacher" asked whether increased shocks
    should be given he/she was verbally encouraged to
    continue.
  • Sixty percent of the "teachers" obeyed orders to
    punish the learner to the very end of the
    450-volt scale!
  • No subject stopped before reaching 300 volts!
  • At times, the worried "teachers" questioned the
    experimenter, asking
  • who was responsible for any harmful effects
    resulting from shocking the earner at such a high
    level.
  • Upon receiving the answer that the experimenter
    assumed full responsibility, teachers seemed to
    accept the response and continue shocking, even
    though some were obviously extremely
    uncomfortable in doing so.
  • The study raised many questions about how the
    subjects could bring themselves to administer
    such heavy shocks.

65
Milgram experiment
  • The apparent shocks were delivered by a simulated
    shock generator, offering thirty clearly
    delineated voltage levels, ranging from 15 to 450
    volts, accompanied by verbal descriptions ranging
    from "Slight Shock" to "XXX."
  • As the experiment unfolded, the subject was asked
    to administer increasingly severe shocks for
    incorrect answers, well past the "Danger, Severe
    Shock" level, which began at 375 volts.
  • The mechanism for administering the shocks had 30
    levels or settings raging from 15 to 450 volts,
    so that the maximum number of shocks that could
    be given was 30. Milgram devised a set of four
    prods that the experimenter gave to subjects
    who asked whether they should continue to
    administer shocks (Milgram, 197421)
  • please continue,
  • the experiment requires you to continue,
  • it is absolutely essential that you continue,
    and
  • you have no other choice, you must go on.
  • These prods were made in sequence and if the
    subject refused to obey after prod 4, the
    experiment was terminated.

66
(No Transcript)
67
Milgram experiment
  • The expected break-off point is the "Very Strong
    Shock" of 195 volts. In Milgram's experiment,
    however, every one of the forty subjects went
    beyond 300 volts.
  • A large majority--twenty-six of the forty
    subjects, or 65 percent--went to the full
    450-volt shock, five steps beyond "Danger, Severe
    Shock."
  • Replications of Milgram's experiments, with
    thousands of diverse people in numerous
    countries, show essentially the same behavior.
  • And women do not behave differently from men.
  • Milgram concluded that ordinary people will
    follow orders even if the result is to produce
    great suffering in innocent others.

68
Obedience to Authority Studies
Milgram experiment
  • The Surveillance Effect
  • There is clear evidence from Milgram's study that
    the presence of the experimenter helped to
    increase obedience. When he left the room,
    obedience dropped from 65 to 21. The same thing
    happens in classrooms, offices and factory floors
    as well.
  • The Buffer Effect
  • The buffer in the Milgram experiment was the wall
    between teacher and learner. Milgram showed that
    if the teacher was personally required to hold
    the learners hand on the shock plate, then
    obedience dropped from 65 to 40.
  • It seemed that the more direct the interaction
    between the teacher and the learner, the lower
    the obedience would be.
  • Milgram tested this theory in reverse by
    conducting an experiment where the teacher was
    required to pull a lever which would cause
    another person to administer the shocks.
  • In this case the obedience level went up from 65
    to 93.

69
Milgram and Zimbardo Experiments and Ethics
  • Both the Zimbardo and Milgram experiments shed
    light on the situational affects on a human
    psyche
  • It sheds light on the philosophical debate over
    the nature of responsibility and accountability
  • Are only individuals totally responsible for
    their actions or could their environment or
    situation be implicated in causing their
    behavior?
  • "How do average even admirable people become
    dehumanized by the critical circumstances
    pressing in on them?" asked the famous
    philosopher Hannah Arendt in her book about the
    Nuremburg Trials, The Banality of Evil. This is
    what she called the phenomena because the German
    officers who committed atrocious acts were no
    more evil than any other person in their inner
    character
  • What, is blind obedience?

70
Milgram and Zimbardo Experiments and Ethics
  • . In his book, Obedience to Authority, Milgram
    concludes that "A substantial proportion of
    people do what they are told to do, irrespective
    of the content of the act and without limitations
    of conscience, so long as they perceive that the
    command comes from a legitimate authority."
  • But, what constitutes legitimate authority is
    the crucial question.
  • "What encourages obedience?
  • Is it fear of punishment or negative
    repercussions?
  • A desire to please?
  • A need to go along with the group?
  • A blind faith in authority?"

71
Situationism and Professional Contexts
  • In a typical workplace, employers are the
    authority figures and employees are subordinates
    to them
  • This relationship of superior to subordinate can
    lead to abuses.
  • For one thing the employer holds your job, your
    paycheck, and your livelihood over your head,
    so to speak
  • If they threaten to deprive you of any or all of
    these if you fail to do as you are told, what
    should you do?
  • Can you be excused from being responsible or
    accountable for your actions because your boss
    coerced you to do things you thought were wrong?

72
The Problem of Many HandsA Barrier to
Accountability
  • Because so many people contribute in so many
    different ways, it is very difficult to determine
    who is accountable for organizational behavior.
  • It can often be extremely difficult to determine
    an individual's contribution to failures in large
    organizations or large engineering projects where
    many people participate and add their particular
    skills or expertise (in fact, the same goes for
    successes).
  • The case studies you will analyze in this course
    begin to suggest some of the ethical implications
    that ensue from the diffusion of responsibility
    in engineering ethics contexts, particularly in
    the design and operation of complex technological
    artifacts and systems.

73
The Problem of Many HandsA Barrier to
Accountability
  • One philosopher notes that "With respect to
    complex organizations, the problem of many hands
    often turns the quest for responsibility into a
    quest for the Holy Grail
  • Bovins, B. (1998). The quest for Responsibility
    Accountability and Citizenship in Complex
    Organizations. Cambridge Cambridge University
    Press.
  • In many cases we simply cannot isolate individual
    contributions to organizational action. This
    suggests not only that we lack some of the basic
    incentives that could be used to increase
    individual effort in pursuit of quality, but that
    the ability to achieve justice in organizations
    is compromised.
  • Research on decision making shows that some
    layers of the organizational hierarchy are
    responsible for decisions that are more visible,
    concrete, limited in time, and identifiable with
    specific individuals than are others

74
The Problem of Many Hands
  • It is quite natural to assume that when mistakes
    are committed, we can associate it with the
    particular decision behind it
  • If this decision leads to adverse consequences,
    it is assumed that the decision maker is at fault
  • This is an unwarranted assumption, as legal
    scholars well know.
  • People at the top and bottom of organizations
    tend not to be blamed when accidents happen
  • Braithewaite, J. (1998) The allocation of
    responsibility for corporate crime
    Individualism, collectivism, and accountability,
    Sidney Law Review 12 468-513.
  • The focus is usually on the managers in the
    middle because, although they exhibit enough
    seniority to make important and visible
    decisions, they are not senior enough to be able
    to hide behind the diffusion of responsibility
    that provides top management cover
  • Empirical research confirms this Decision making
    at the operational level tends to be highly
    visible and are marked by clearly defined
    beginning, middle, and end states
  • Top management decisions are more fluid,
    evolutionary, consensual, and temporal, where
    negations are carried on with numerous
    individuals and groups over a period of time

75
The Doctrine of Many Eyes
  • Many eyes as a solution to the problem of many
    hands
  • Given enough morally responsible individuals
    (many eyes) the network of accountability can
    be managed
  • In a responsible organization, the many eyes that
    watch the many hands are a watchdog that could
    prevent risk and harm
  • A culture of responsibility can develop if only
    because one can fix the errors of another
  • Engineers have a responsibility to address the
    errors of their co-worker engineers working on
    the same project
  • The motivation and ability to prevent risk and
    harm is increased, not by the fear of punishment
    but rather by the desire to maintain a respectful
    standing within the profession or social group
  • By ensuring that engineering projects be free of
    risk by guaranteeing that enough eyes watch the
    many hands that work or operate technologies, and
    by accommodating new modes of collaborative moral
    accountability through socialnot legal
    mechanisms, one can hope that the barriers to
    accountability will diminish
  • A framework for moral and ethical debates needs
    to be developed that can accommodate meaningful
    discussions about exercising due care in
    engineering design and practice when working on
    large projects and/or in large organizations
  • Related to the concept of social responsibility

76
The Diffusion of Responsibility Phenomenon
  • The Genovese Effect
  • Kitty Genovese Murder NY, NY 1964
  • Fought off murderer he returned again and again
  • Rape and murder took full half hour
  • No one came to her assistance
  • Police determined that at least 38 neighbors were
  • aware of the attack
  • Unresponsive Bystander Effect

77
Diffusion of Responsibility
  • The tendency for persons in a group situation to
    fail to take action because others are present,
    thus diffusing the responsibility for acting. A
    major factor in inhibiting bystanders from
    intervening in emergencies
  • People are much more likely to intervene if they
    are alone rather than in the presence of others,
    especially if the other is a stranger
  • Experiment Reasoned that the presence of a
    stranger weakened individual responses by
    diffusing their sense of responsibility
  • Finding If individuals have their efforts
    identified when they are part of a cohesive
    highly moral group, they will exert even more
    effort than they would if they were only working
    for their own personal benefit
  • Finding If the roles and responsibilities of
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