Technology Design as Experimental Ethics

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Doing ethics of technology has become a complicated activity following the developments that have taken place in the philosophy of technology over the last few decades. Contemporary approaches, such as actor-network theory and postphenomenology, have argued convincingly that we need to blur the boundaries between human beings and technological artefacts. While Don Ihde has shown that human relations with the world are fundamentally mediated by technologies (Ihde 1990), Bruno Latour claims that we need to give up the separation we make between human and non-human beings (Latour 1993). In the meantime, according to various authors, even the field of morality has become a hybrid affair. Moral actions and decisions of human beings are fundamentally mediated by technologies, like turnstiles that intervene in fare-dodging in the subway and antenatal diagnostic technologies that inform moral decisions about abortion (Verbeek 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthics on the Laboratory Floor
EditorsSimone van der Burg, Tsjalling Swierstra
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-00293-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-43407-7
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patient
  • Technology design
  • Mediation analysis
  • Experimental ethic


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