Track 5: Ethics and politics of emerging technologies

Chair: TSJALLING SWIERSTRA

It is not a coincidence that ethical (and political) controversies often concern new and emerging technologies. In the case of such technologies, it is their novelty that provokes these controversies. Proponents as a rule stress that the technologies in question conform to established moral values and practices. According to them, there is only a revolution on the level of science and technology, not on the level of morals. However, this claim is often contested by opponents, who argue that the emerging technologies do conflict with accepted moral standard and routines. The debate on this general issue is hampered by the fact that both proponents and opponents are debating the possible (in their own eyes: plausible) impacts of emerging, not yet functional and socially embedded, technologies. This fact is often stressed to discredit the arguments of the other party.

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How to improve such discussions?

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How to analyze the dynamic interaction between morality and technology?

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What are the ethical implications of techno-moral change?

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How best to ‘present’ the ‘future’. Is an ‘ethics of promising’ necessary?

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Does TA pay enough attention to ethics? Is there room for ‘ethical TA’?