The moral relevance of technological artifacts

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This chapter explores the ethics of technology in a double sense: it lays bare points of application for ethical reflection about technology development, and it analyzes the ethical dimensions of technology itself. First, the chapter addresses the question of how to conceptualize and assess the moral significance of technological artifacts. If technologies help to shape moral actions and decisions, how to understand and evaluate this moral role of material artifacts? Second, the chapter analyzes the implications of the moral significance of technology for the question of responsibility. If moral actions and decisions are the result of complex interactions between humans and technologies, how to attribute responsibility in such situations? And third, the chapter analyzes how designers can take responsibility for the moral dimensions of their designs. By integrating the methods of stakeholder analysis and mediation analysis, the chapter proposes an expanded framework for the ethics of design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvaluating New Technologies
Subtitle of host publicationMethodological Problems for the Ethical Assessment of Technology Developments
EditorsPaul Sollie, Marcus Düwell
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-481-2229-5
ISBN (Print)978-90-481-2228-8
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameThe International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology
ISSN (Print)1875-0044
ISSN (Electronic)1875-0036


  • Ethics of design
  • Technological artifacts
  • Technological meditatiën
  • Responsibility
  • Stakeholder analysis


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