Ethical technology assessment as cartography of situational value conflicts

Moral pragmatism perspectives on the problem of neutrality

Keywords: Dewey, John 1859-1952, moral pragmatism, technology assessment, hermeneutics, ethics

Abstract

The article describes what a moral pragmatic approach in technology assessment (TA) can offer in practice. Our thesis, following John Dewey, is that argumentative ethical TA can be understood as a kind of cartography of situational value conflicts. The resulting “moral maps” aim to identify the need for scientific advice that informs public and political debate in specific decision-making situations as neutrally as possible. From a pragmatic perspective, however, “neutrality” does not entail normative abstinence. Rather, the point of departure is to re-construct the normative conflicts that are relevant in specific situations of technical decision making, deliberately approaching the values from multiple perspectives.

Published
03.04.2019
How to Cite
WEYDNER-VOLKMANN, S. Ethical technology assessment as cartography of situational value conflicts. TATuP - Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis, v. 28, n. 1, p. 39-44, 3 Apr. 2019.