Technology and prognostic predicaments
- Don Ihde
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As societies become increasingly technologised, the need for careful and critical assessment rises. However, attempts to assess or normatively evaluate technological development invariably meet with an antinomy: both structurally and historically, technologies display multistable possibilities regarding uses, effects, side effects and other outcomes. Philosophers, usually expected to play applied ethics roles, often come to the scene after these effects are known. But others who participate at the research and development stages find even more difficulties with prognosis. Recent work on ‘revenge’ effects (Tenner) and negative side effects (Kevles) are examined, as well as several cases of philosophers in ‘R&D’ roles. After sketching the antinomy,I outline a heuristic pragmatics of prognosis that addresses this quandary.
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- Kevles, B. (1997). Naked to the Bone: Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ.
- Kittler, F. (1989). The Mechanized Philosopher. In Rickels, L.A. (ed.)Looking After Nietzsche. SUNY Press, Albany, NY.
- Tenner, E. (1996). Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996.
- Technology and prognostic predicaments
AI & SOCIETY
Volume 13, Issue 1-2 , pp 44-51
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- Research and development
- Side effects
- Don Ihde (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, SUNY at Stony Brook, 11794-3750, New York, NY, USA