Difference between revisions of "Editing Commons-based peer production and virtue"

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{{Publication
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|type=Journal article
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|title=Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue
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|authors=Yochai Benkler, Helen Nissenbaum
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|published_in=The Journal of Political Philosophy
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|year=2006
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|volume=14
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|issue=4
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|pages=394–419
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|url=http://www.nyu.edu/projects/nissenbaum/papers/jopp_235.pdf
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|peer_reviewed=Yes
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|article_language=English
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|abstract=COMMONS-BASED peer production is a socio-economic system of
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production that is emerging in the digitally networked environment.
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Facilitated by the technical infrastructure of the Internet, the hallmark of this
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socio-technical system is collaboration among large groups of individuals,
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sometimes in the order of tens or even hundreds of thousands, who cooperate
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effectively to provide information, knowledge or cultural goods without relying
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on either market pricing or managerial hierarchies to coordinate their common
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enterprise.1 While there are many practical reasons to try to understand a novel
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system of production that has produced some of the finest software, the fastest
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supercomputer and some of the best web-based directories and news sites,
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here we focus on the ethical, rather than the functional dimension. What does
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it mean in ethical terms that many individuals can find themselves cooperating
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productively with strangers and acquaintances on a scope never before seen?
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How might it affect, or at least enable, human action and affection, and how
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would these effects or possibilities affect our capacities to be virtuous human
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beings? We suggest that the emergence of peer production offers an opportunity
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for more people to engage in practices that permit them to exhibit and experience
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virtuous behavior. We posit: (a) that a society that provides opportunities for
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virtuous behavior is one that is more conducive to virtuous individuals; and (b)
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that the practice of effective virtuous behavior may lead to more people adopting
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virtues as their own, or as attributes of what they see as their self-definition. The
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central thesis of this paper is that socio-technical systems of commons-based
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peer production offer not only a remarkable medium of production for various kinds of information goods but serve as a context for positive character
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formation. Exploring and substantiating these claims will be our quest, but we
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begin with a brief tour through this strange and exciting new landscape of
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commons-based peer production and conclude with recommendations for public
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policy.
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}}
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Latest revision as of 20:56, August 9, 2012