Muskingum News


Dr. Rob Sharp: Engaging Students in the Ethics of Technology
Robert Sharp

Muskingum University Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy Dr. Rob Sharp is engaging students in thinking about the ethics of the ubiquitous technology that shapes their days.

“The classes I teach focus on a variety of topics, including Introduction to Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, Logic, and History of Philosophy. For an upper-level course on Ethics and Technology, I wanted students to gain in-depth learning on ethics theories and principles, while applying the concepts to technology – everything from cell phone use, online privacy and confidentiality, social media influencers, online harassment, and stalking, to online corporate responsibility and automated vehicles.”

“When I couldn’t find a textbook I liked, I wrote my own: How the Internet and Other Technology Shifts are Changing Morality (2022). The students are finding the book and the course extremely relevant to their daily lives. Many of them have been hacked, or know someone who has been, and we have great classroom discussions.” Dr. Sharp’s current research is on how online ethics shape users’ online habits, and how positive online role models and connections can improve behavior and yield positive impacts.

A member of the Muskingum faculty since 2008, Dr. Sharp earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama-Huntsville and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Vanderbilt University.

“My favorite thing about Muskingum is our small class sizes and the ability to get to know and help students on an individual level. I love to stay connected with alumni on social media and to see how they are using what they learned at Muskingum. It is so rewarding to see them making their own and others’ lives better.”

Dr. Sharp received Muskingum’s highest teaching honor, the William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 2018. In nominating him for the award, his faculty colleagues noted that students have been known to change their majors or add philosophy as a minor after taking one of his classes.

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