Skip to main content

GEB2004/PHI2004 Technology and Ethics: Home

Course Description

Forms of technology are increasingly integrated into our lives, and this development is leading to new and challenging ethical issues. This course will familiarize students with philosophical debates surrounding the nature of technology itself and the ethical consequences of technological developments. Topics to be explored in the course will be both historical and future-oriented, including ethical issues relating to biotechnology, computing, technological inequality, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies. No prior knowledge of technology or ethics is required.

Recommended Books

Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition: An Anthology

This anthology collects 55 excerpts by influential thinkers who have contributed to the topic of philosophy of technology. There are six parts in this book. Part One looks into the historical background of contemporary philosophy of technology. Part Two presents contemporary readings that critically assess the assumptions from the nineteenth century of the relationship between philosophy and technology. Part Three examines recent efforts that define technology. Part Four presents Martin Heidegger’s essay and five essays in response. Part Five concerns with the relationship between human and nature. Part Six reviews issues when technology is viewed as defining a specific and dominant kind of social practice.

Ethics and Emerging Technologies

This is a textbook introducing ethical issues associated with a broad array of emerging technologies, including genetic engineering, sex selection, reproductive assistance technologies, nanomedicine, stem cell research, neurotechnologies, human enhancement technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, surveillance technologies, virtual reality, reoengineering, synthetic meat, genetically modified crops and animal, synthetic biology, and artificial life. The Introduction includes an overview of common themes in the ethics of technology, provides a primer on ethical theory and value terminology, and proposes a set of critical perspectives from which novel technologies can be evaluated. Part One are general reflections on ethics of technology, and the remaining parts are structured around uses of technology and particular technology types.

Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues

This book encourages readers to think about questions concerning the nature of ethics itself. It covers competing ethical theories and a variety of ethical issues, including the relation of scientific inquiry to ethics, the nature of virtue, the role of both feelings and reason in ethics, the relation between religion and ethics, and the question of moral responsibility. Though the focus of the book is ethical theory, the issues raised are illustrated and debated through discussions of such practical ethical questions as capital punishment, abortion, terrorism, drug-enhanced athletic performance, homosexuality, and limits on legitimate police inquiry.

Recommended Databases