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Moral mid-level principles in modeling

  • Diekmann, Sven
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    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

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    1. 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.
    2. Marc Le Menestrel & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2002. "Ethics outside, within or beyond OR models," Economics Working Papers 622, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2002.
    3. 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.
    4. Gass, Saul I., 2009. "Ethical guidelines and codes in operations research," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1044-1050, December.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    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. Gallo, Giorgio, 2004. "Operations research and ethics: Responsibility, sharing and cooperation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 468-476, March.
    11. Mingers, John, 2011. "Ethics and OR: Operationalising discourse ethics," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(1), pages 114-124, April.
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