Technology, Normativity, and the Future: The Aristotelian Turn

Henk Procee

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In our postmodern era all certainties seem to have gone. Neither the idea of progress nor standard ethical theories have apparently retained enough power to guide humanity. As a result, technologists find themselves in a paradoxical situation. While they demonstrate increased reality-changing activity, they are increasingly losing the instruments to effectuate their responsibilities for the future of the species. Two reactions to this state of affairs are possible. The first way is to accept this condition passively. This reaction consists of hardly more than hoping and praying. The second way is more active. That reaction consists of bringing about alternative routes to tackle the responsibilities of technologists. Providing such a reconceptualization is the aim of this paper. Its starting point is rooted in the old Aristotelian philosophy. However embarrassing this might sound, the claim will be defended that the basic structure of Aristotle's ethics (quality of character in changing circumstances) is highly relevant for a fresh approach to forming the "virtuous engineer."
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
JournalTechné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • IR-77232

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