Philosophy and Ethics for Computing and Information Science
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-IMI003
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Informatica en Informatiekunde;
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
L.L.J. Schoenmakers
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
KW2  (07/11/2022 to 29/01/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
The student will:
  • be acquainted with a number of philosophical and ethical theories, both in general and applied to his/her object of study;
  • be able to recognize the implicit presuppositions in a number of scientific advances of his/her object of study;
  • be able to reflect on the normativity of his/her object of study;
  • be able to articulate his/her reflection in a number of short papers and a research paper.
The course Philosophy and Ethics for Computing & Information Science explores philosophical, ethical and societal issues that have been made possible by the development of information technology
Starting from the concepts of privacy and the relationship between informatics and political decision-making processes, we will move on to examine the changes in our way to look at the world caused by the progresses of information technology. We will analyze among others  the cultural meaning of hackerism, the role different ethical frameworks play in discussing technological advances, and the social/ethical/cultural implications of artificial intelligence (AI). Current 'hot topics' will be additionally discussed, based among others on input by the students

Instructional Modes
  • Lecture
  • Self-study

Presumed foreknowledge
None, but: students who have followed the regular Bachelor will have already completed NWI-I00036 Informatics and Society, where some themes have already been introduced.
Test information
Students will have to submit 2 summative short group assignments (25% each for the final grade), 1 final group assignment (50% for the final grade), and 1 formative indivudal assignment (will not be graded but has to be turned in).
There is no final examination planned.
The short summative group assignments are meant to develop specific skills which will be needed in order to write the final assignent. Summative short group assignment have a total weight of 50% in determining final grade, the other 50% is given by the grade of the final paper.
All summative assignments must have a grade equal of higher than 6,0 in order to be considered.
Students will get the possibility of turning in amended versions of the assignments in case of failing them.

Required materials
Learning Management System (Brigthspace)
Literature references and reading material will be made available through Brightspace.

Instructional modes
Course occurrence

The course consists of a number of lectures about the given topics. There is ample room for discussion with and between students. Multimedia are also used in order to make 'tough' philosphical concepts more accessible. Students will be asked to turn in a number of assignments which are meant to help them achieve the teaching goals.


Final result
Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW3