And lead us (not) into persuasion…? : persuasive technology and the ethics of communication

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Abstract

The paper develops ethical guidelines for the development and usage of persuasive technologies (PT) that can be derived from applying discourse ethics to this type of technologies. The application of discourse ethics is of particular interest for PT, since ‘persuasion’ refers to an act of communication that might be interpreted as holding the middle between ‘manipulation’ and ‘convincing’. One can distinguish two elements of discourse ethics that prove fruitful when applied to PT: the analysis of the inherent normativity of acts of communication (‘speech acts’) and the Habermasian distinction between ‘communicative’ and ‘strategic rationality’ and their broader societal interpretation. This essay investigates what consequences can be drawn if one applies these two elements of discourse ethics to PT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-650
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Persuasive Communication
persuasion
Ethics
Communication
moral philosophy
Technology
communication
discourse
Speech communication
normativity
speech act
rationality
manipulation
Persuasion
Guidelines
interpretation
Discourse ethics

Cite this

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And lead us (not) into persuasion…? : persuasive technology and the ethics of communication. / Spahn, A.

In: Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 18, No. 4, 2012, p. 633-650.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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