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Moralizing TechnologyUnderstanding and Designing the Morality of Things$
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Peter-Paul Verbeek

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226852911

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226852904.001.0001

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Mediated Morality

Mediated Morality

(p.x) (p.1) 1 Mediated Morality
Moralizing Technology

Peter-Paul Verbeek

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the technologically mediated character of our daily lives and its important ethical implications. First of all, the quality of technology's contributions to our existence can be assessed in moral terms. Some roles played by technology can be referred to as “good” and other roles “bad”—even if it is not possible to lay the blame on technologies for them. Second, by helping to shape human actions and experiences, technologies also participate in our ways of doing ethics. Ethics is concerned with the questions of “how to act” and “how to live”—and in our technological culture, these questions are not answered exclusively by human beings. Technologies also provide answers to the central ethical questions, albeit in a material way. Artifacts are morally charged; they mediate moral decisions, shape moral subjects, and play an important role in moral agency.

Keywords:   technologically mediated character, ethical implications, moral terms, ethics, technological culture, morally charged

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