Midterm Examination, 5 November 2003

You may write answers on this sheet or in a blue book. Be sure to write your name on what you hand in!
  1. [22 pts] After each phrase write the letter of the definition that most closely matches its meaning.

    phrase answer definition
    1. reflexive   a. consistent alignment of actants
    2. constructivism   b. something that acts
    3. tacit knowledge   c. involving co-evolution
    4. chains of translation   d. maximizing a measure of value
    5. symmetry   e. assuming that everything has a cause
    6. acausal   f. society is an autonomous force on technology
    7. causal presupposition   g. what's right depends on its consequences
    8. the categorical imperative   h. doing what works
    9. utilitarianism   i. humans and non-humans treated equally
    10. technological determinism   j. act as you want others to act
    11. epistemology   k. not having a cause
        l. having a cause
      .   m. the belief that reality is constructed
      .   n. assigning human qualities to non-humans
        o. study of knowability
        p. not involving causality
        q. what you know but can't say
        r. building things
        s. order of events is order of clauses
        t. technology is an independent force on society
        u. sociologists can't do better science than scientists
        v. applied to itself
        w. order of events is order of causes
        x. other

  2. [45pts] Identify the ethical theory that underlies each of the following 5 arguments for or against unauthorized online file-sharing of music ( Kazaa, gnutella, early Napster, etc.), and say why.
    1. I don't have any problem with downloading per se, but am afraid it will cut into the money going to the artists, and eventually will hurt the quality of the music available. So people shouldn't do it.
    2. The problem with downloading is, what would happen if everybody did it? Then the artists wouldn't make any money, and I think that's wrong. So I don't think anybody should it.
    3. It's okay for people to download music if it's from a big label or a big group, because they have lots of money anyway. I try never to download from local artists and real independents though, because they're already struggling as it is.
    4. People shouldn't download music because it's a form of stealing, and stealing is just wrong.
    5. I think everybody should download music. It's the only way to break the monopoly of the record companies. Then maybe it would be a more democratic market for music again.

  3. [12pts] Define residual category and give 3 examples.
  4. [9pts] Define grand narrative and give 2 examples, one of which involves information technology.
  5. [12pts] List 3 significant criticisms of classical actor-network theory, and briefly say how they are justified.