The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University has some really useful thinking and curricula around ethics. One of the things they point out is that what ethics is not is easier to talk about than what ethics actually is. And some of the things that they say about what ethics is not include feelings. Those aren’t ethics. And religion isn’t ethics. Also law. That’s not ethics. Science isn’t ethics.
I start the story in 1819 rather than 1980. And that allows me to do some very specific work, which is to talk about what I think of as the deep social programming of the tools that we’re now using in public services across the United States.