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Humanist Archives: Jan. 29, 2022, 4:04 a.m. Humanist 35.500 - kinds of ethics

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 500.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2022-01-28 16:31:03+00:00
        From: <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 35.495: kinds of ethics?


You pose a challenging question. It is often difficult to be open to what is
“waiting to be noticed and developed”. But we try.

I think the people doing anti-colonial work within and through digital
humanities work from an ethic of love. The reference here is to the work of the
late bell hooks.

Consider this excerpt from “Love as the Practice of Freedom” [ 1 ]

Peck [The Road Less Traveled] offers a working definition for love that is
useful for those of us who would like to make a love ethic the core of all human
interaction. He defines love as "the will to extend one's self for the purpose
of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." Commenting on prevailing
cultural attitudes about love, Peck writes:

Everyone in our culture desires to some extent to be loving, yet many are in
fact not loving. I therefore conclude that the desire to love is not itself
love. Love is as love does. Love is an act of will-namely both an intention and
an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.

His words echo Martin Luther King's declaration, "I have decided to love," which
also emphasizes choice.


What I want to emphasize here is that within digital humanities — the
interaction with machines and engagement with people is about choices. Not
merely intentions, but choices.

If you indulge me further I hear quote from the Research Ethics statement
connected to my blog — for every blog entry is a choice. [ 2 ]


Research Ethics
Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans –
TCPS 2 (2018) 
Retrieved: April 11, 2020.

Where I come from we care. I sign on to these core principles:

The guidelines in this Policy are based on the following three core principles:

Respect for Persons
Concern for Welfare
These principles are complementary and interdependent. How they apply and the
weight accorded to each will depend on the nature and context of the research
being undertaken.

My little summary (and *one footnote)

PERSONS: Autonomy includes the ability to deliberate about a decision and to act
based on that deliberation.

WELFARE: Impact on individuals of factors such as their physical, mental and
spiritual health, as well as their physical, economic and social circumstances.

JUSTICE: Obligation[s*] to treat people fairly and equitably. Fairness entails
treating all people with equal respect and concern. Equity requires distributing
the benefits and burdens of research participation in such a way that no segment
of the population is unduly burdened by the harms of research or denied the
benefits of the knowledge generated from it.

I am on board with that!

This applies to studies in applied rhetoric.

* It is worth pluralizing obligations since they range from human fiduciary
arrangements to environmental law obligations.


The little details count: [ 3 ]

But scale is something more than size. Scale is about how the small can be made
to have large effects; or how a process can be proceduralized such that it can
be replicated in different contexts, and appear the same.

What does it mean to love a machine?

[ 1 ]
Practice-of-Freedom.pdf <

[ 2 ]

[ 3 ]

François Lachance, Ph.d.

living in the beginning of the long 22nd century; sequencing the  "future


> On Jan 27, 2022, at 1:55 AM, Humanist <> wrote:
> What kinds of philosophical ethics are actively pursued in digital
> humanities currently or are waiting to be noticed and developed?

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