A core issue in the philosophy of technology has been the non-neutrality of technology. Most scholars in the field agree that technologies actively help to shape culture and society, rather than being neutral means for realizing human ends. How to take seriously this non-neutrality of technology in ethics? Engineering ethics mainly focuses on the moral decisions and responsibilities of designers, and remains too external to the moral significance of technologies themselves. Yet, analyses of the non-neutrality of technology make it plausible to ascribe some morality to artifacts. First of all, technologies substantially contribute to the coming about of actions and of decisions about how to act. Second, their role cannot be entirely reduced to the intentions behind their design and use. This paper investigates what these observations imply for ethical theory, and for the ethics of design.
|Title of host publication||Philosophy and Design: from Engineering to Architecture.|
|Editors||Peter Kroes, Pieter E. Vermaas, Andrew Light, Steven A. Moore|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|