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ERIC Number: EJ1000707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1962
Technology and Moral or Ethical Values: Three Questions; Many More Answers
Romiszowski, Alexander J.
Educational Technology, v52 n1 p10-17 Jan-Feb 2012
This article examines what "stakeholder groups" have to say about the nature, and indeed the meaning, of "technology." The author uncovers a variety of interpretations of the term "technology" and finds much disagreement and indeed confusion regarding whether concepts such as "science," "technology," and "engineering" are independent of each other, are subsets of one another, or are indeed exact or near synonyms. This investigation then examines the viewpoints of these groups regarding the neutrality (or not) of technology and its impacts on society. Natural scientists and engineers tend to hold the view that technology itself is value-neutral, while many social scientists and philosophers hold the opposite view, that technology, once disseminated, is a phenomenon largely out of human control and is the main culprit of negative trends in society. Surprisingly, those writers best defined as "moralists" express more balanced viewpoints, combining aspects of the philosophers' concerns with rather more optimistic and hard-science-based views on how to control the potentially negative societal effects. A graphical schema which attempts to inter-relate the varying viewpoints expressed in the literature reviewed is presented. The article concludes with a discussion of a hypothetical case-example. (Contains 1 figure.)
Educational Technology Publications. 700 Palisade Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632-0564. Tel: 800-952-2665; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A