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Technoethics and Public Reason

Technoethics and Public Reason
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Author(s): Govert Valkenburg (Department of Infonomics and New Media, Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht, Netherlands)
Copyright: 2013
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Pages: 13
Source title: International Journal of Technoethics (IJT)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/jte.2013070106


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Public reason specifies the rules under which a political community collectively conducts ethical reasoning. Technoethics needs to incorporate an account of how the technologies it aspires to govern bear on these rules. As the case of biobanks shows, technologies have the capacity to change the exact meanings of concepts that play central roles in ethical reasoning. By consequence, a revision of the rules to which this ethical reasoning about the very same biobanks is subject, becomes inevitable. Thus, reasoning in technoethics becomes essentially reflexive, as it is to discuss its own rules at the same level at which it discusses its primary object, namely new technologies. Technoethics is thus not only about how human values are to be incorporated into technology design, but also about what kind of political world is constructed through technology.

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