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Moral mid-level principles in modeling

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  • Diekmann, Sven
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    Abstract

    Modelers, especially in operational research, are becoming increasingly aware that their role in decision-making raises moral problems. This paper discusses two questions: How do moral issues in modeling arise? How can these moral issues be addressed? I propose a framework that (1) provides tools for discovering moral issues raised by models, and (2) provides practical guidance for solving moral problems in modeling. As regards (1), I discuss three moral perspectives on modeling: a perspective that focuses on the beneficial or harmful consequences of using a model; a perspective that focuses on the intentions of using a model; and a perspective that focuses on whether a model promotes virtuous behavior. In order to achieve practical action guidance, (2), four moral mid-level principles are introduced: (i) The principle of transparency expresses the obligations to explain the structure, assumptions and further properties of the model; (ii) the principle of integrity demands for the application of professional standards; (iii) the principle of comprehensiveness stresses that all moral concerns should be acknowledged thoroughly; and finally, (iv) the principle of efficacy states that models should evaluate moral issues explicitly.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221712006911
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

    Volume (Year): 226 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 132-138

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:226:y:2013:i:1:p:132-138

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

    Related research

    Keywords: Decision analysis; Decision-making; Ethical guidance; Ethics; Moral mid-level principles; Modeling;

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    1. Walker, Warren E., 2009. "Does the best practice of rational-style model-based policy analysis already include ethical considerations?," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1051-1062, December.
    2. Kunsch, P.L. & Kavathatzopoulos, I. & Rauschmayer, F., 2009. "Modelling complex ethical decision problems with operations research," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1100-1108, December.
    3. Gass, Saul I., 2009. "Ethical guidelines and codes in operations research," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1044-1050, December.
    4. Gallo, Giorgio, 2004. "Operations research and ethics: Responsibility, sharing and cooperation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 468-476, March.
    5. Le Menestrel, Marc & Van Wassenhove, Luk N., 2004. "Ethics outside, within, or beyond OR models?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 477-484, March.
    6. Le Menestrel, Marc & Van Wassenhove, Luk N., 2009. "Ethics in Operations Research and Management Sciences: A never-ending effort to combine rigor and passion," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1039-1043, December.
    7. Mingers, John, 2011. "Ethics and OR: Operationalising discourse ethics," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(1), pages 114-124, April.
    8. Brans, Jean-Pierre, 2004. "The management of the future: Ethics in OR: Respect, multicriteria management, happiness," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 466-467, March.
    9. Wenstop, Fred & Magnus, Per, 2001. "Value focused rationality in AIDS policy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 57-72, July.
    10. Brans, J. Pierre, 2002. "OR, Ethics and Decisions: the OATH of PROMETHEUS," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 191-196, July.
    11. White, Leroy & Bourne, Humphrey, 2007. "Voices and values: Linking values with participation in OR/MS in public policy making," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 588-603, October.
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