Morality in Design: Design Ethics and the Morality of Technological Artifacts


Verbeek, Peter-Paul (2008) Morality in Design: Design Ethics and the Morality of Technological Artifacts. In: Peter Kroes & Pieter E. Vermaas & Andrew Light & Steven A. Moore (Eds.), Philosophy and Design. Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp. 91-103. ISBN 9781402065903

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Abstract: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.
Item Type:Book Section
Copyright:© 2008 Springer
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS)
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