Concepts / Ethics of technology

Ethics is fundamentally about determining right and wrong behaviours, central to the pursuit of justice. Philosophers and ethicists will explore how best to approach ethical questions in general, and all of us will want to appreciate how to distinguish the right things to do from the wrong in particular contexts, e.g. in family life, in our work.

When the context is technology, we are talking technoethics, TE for short.

TE is necessarily interdisciplinary including ethics (of course!), social sciences, information studies, and technology studies. TE focuses on discovering ethical uses of technology, protecting against unethical uses, and developing principles to guide technological advancement.

The nature of our (technological) lives depends upon the questions asked of technology and the source of the answers (see Heidegger 1954). It’s self-evident that we cannot rely solely on technologists to proffer answers, not through any evil intent or casual disregard per se, but because they do not have the necessary interdisciplinarity. As and when we might find ourselves reliant upon them, we will suffer the consequences of inadequate answers, which might explain in some good part the state of social media for example at the beginning of the 2020s.


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