Design4Society: morality and technology revisited

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherOther research output


The moral significance of technology has become a central theme in the ethics of technology: rather than being ethically neutral, technologies have an inherent moral dimension. How can designers deal with this moral dimension of the technologies they are developing? From the perspective of technological mediation, the moral dimension of technology consists in its mediating role in moral decisions and actions. By helping to shape people's interpretations and actions, technologies are part and parcel of the ways in which humans do ethics: antenatal diagnostic technologies inform ethical decisions about abortion, just like smart energy meters affect people's everyday environmental ethics. In this paper, I will investigate how this approach of 'moral mediation' can inform the ethics of design. The paper will develop a heuristic tool for designers to anticipate the potential moral impact of a technology-in-design, to evaluate its quality, and to design morality into technologies in a responsible way
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2015
EventE4S-2016: 2nd conference: Engineering4Society: Raising awareness for the societal and environmental role of engineering - KU Leuven Thermotechnics Institute, Leuven-Heverlee, Belgium
Duration: 18 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


ConferenceE4S-2016: 2nd conference: Engineering4Society
Abbreviated titleE4S-2016
Internet address


  • IR-97877
  • METIS-312783

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