Technology and ethics

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L102-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved September 23, 2021, from

References and further reading

  • Bacon, F. (1620) Novum organum (The New Method), trans. P. Urbach and J. Gibson, La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1994, esp. book I, ch. 129.

    (Argues that the goal of science is not simply knowledge but technological power.)

  • Baier, K. and Rescher, N. (1969) Values and the Future: The Impact of Technological Change on American Values, New York: Free Press.

    (An empirical and analytic philosophical study.)

  • Bijker, W.E., Hughes, T.P. and Pinch, T.J. (1987) The Social Construction of Technological Systems, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    (A standard presentation of the social constructivist theory of technology.)

  • Borgmann, A. (1984) Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    (A comprehensive ethics and politics of technology.)

  • Collingridge, D. (1980) The Social Control of Technology, New York: St Martin’s Press.

    (Outlines the dilemma in assessing technology: by the time we know enough about a technology to want to control it, the technology has often developed so much social momentum that it is almost impossible to do so.)

  • Dahl, R. (1985) Controlling Nuclear Weapons: Democracy Versus Guardianship, Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

    (This contrast between two political approaches to the control of a particular technology has general implications.)

  • Durbin, P.T. (1992) Social Responsibility in Science, Technology, and Medicine, Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press.

    (On obligations of engineers and others.)

  • Ellul, J. (1954) La Technique ou L’Enjeu du Siècle, trans. J. Wilkinson, The Technological Society, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964.

    (The classic presentation of technological determinism.)

  • Feenberg, A. (1991) Critical Theory of Technology, New York: Oxford University Press.

    (Extends Frankfurt School Neo-Marxist critical theory to include issues of the social critical response to technology.)

  • Feenberg, A. (1995) Alternative Modernity: The Technical Turn in Philosophy and Social Theory, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    (Because technology is a kind of legislation it calls for democratic control, and there are alternatives to technological modernism and postmodern abdication to responsibility. This book gives concrete examples of alternative socio-cultural forms of technology.)

  • Foucault, M. (1988) Technologies of the Self, ed. L.H. Martin, H. Gutman and P.H. Hutton, London: Tavistock.

    (Complements Ortega’s reference to “techniques of the soul”.)

  • Goodpaster, K. and Sayre, K. (1979) Ethics and the Problems of the 21st Century, South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

    (Represents the Anglo-American analytic approach.)

  • Guardini, R. (1926) Letters from Lake Como: Explorations in Technology and the Human Race, trans. G.W. Bromiley, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994.

    (A lucid presentation of one Continental attitude.)

  • Habermas, J. (1970) Toward a Rational Society: Student Protest, Science, and Politics, trans. J.J. Shapiro, Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

    (Translated collection of essays from German texts published in 1968 and 1969. Provides a qualified defence of modern optimism.)

  • Heidegger, M. (1954) ‘Die Frage nach der Technik’, in Vorträge und Aufsätze, Pfullingen: Neske; trans. W. Lovitt, ‘The Question Concerning Technology’, in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

    (Argues that technology is not just a neutral or instrumental means but a way of revealing the world that influences the whole life of all who are involved with it.)

  • Hottois, G. (1984) Pour une ethique dan un univers technicien, Brussels: Éditions de l’Université de Bruxelles.

    (Moves the Continental approach towards specific problems.)

  • Illich, I. (1973) Tools for Conviviality, New York: Pantheon.

    (Representative of the moral protest against determinism.)

  • Jasanoff, S. (1990) The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    (Examines how science and technology are regulated in an advanced industrial state.)

  • Jaspers, K. (1931) Die geistige Situation der Zeit, trans. E. Paul and C. Paul, Man in the Modern Age, London: Routledge, 1933.

    (Representative of the classical Continental attitude.)

  • Jonas, H. (1979) The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age, trans. H. Jonas and D. Herr, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

    (Enlargements of human power through technology carry with them expansions of human moral responsibility.)

  • Marcuse, H. (1964) One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

    (Important Marxist presentation of technological determinism and moral protest.)

  • Marx, K. (1867) Das Kapital: Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie, trans. D. Fernbach, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, New York: Penguin, 3 vols, 1992, book I, ch. 13.

    (Critique of technology under capitalism. Includes an analysis of technology as a new force that, along with capitalist ownership, has transformed economic life.)

  • Mitcham, C. (1989) Ethics and Technology: Research in Philosophy and Technology, vol. 9, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    (A collection of original papers representative of both Continental and Anglo-American discussions.)

  • Mitcham, C. (1994) ‘Ethics in Science, Technology, and Medicine’, in C. Mitcham and W.F. Williams (eds) The Reader’s Adviser, vol. 5, The Best in Science, Technology, and Medicine, New York: Bowker, 105–146.

    (An extended annotated bibliography.)

  • Mumford, L. (1967, 1970) The Myth of the Machine, vol. 1, Technics and Human Development, vol. 2, The Pentagon of Power, New York: Harcourt Brace.

    (Argues that the long historical development of power-centred modern technology has had a largely detrimental impact of human ways of life.)

  • Nelkin, D. (1984) Controversy: Politics of Technical Decisions, Newbury Park, CA: Sage; 3rd edn, 1992.

    (Empirical case studies.)

  • Ortega y Gasset, José (1939) Meditación de la técnica, Buenos Aires: Escalpe; repr. in Obras Completas, vol. 5, Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 2nd edn, 1950/1; trans. H. Weyl and E. Williams, ‘Thoughts on Technology’, in C. Mitcham and R. Mackey (eds) Philosophy and Technology: Readings in the Philosophical Problems of Technology, New York: Free Press, 1972.

    (On modernity and technology. Argues that human beings are essentially technological and that history is transformed by changes in technology.)

  • Ropohl, G. (1987) Technik und Ethik, Stuttgart: Reclam.

    (An introduction to engineering ethics in Germany.)

  • Rosenberg, N. (1982) Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics, New York: Cambridge University Press.

    (On the interactions between technology and the eceonomy.)

  • Russell, B.H. and Pelto, P. (1972) Technology and Social Change, New York: Macmillan; 2nd edn, Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1987.

    (A collection of anthropological studies.)

  • Sclove, R. (1995) Democracy and Technology, New York: Guilford Press.

    (Develops nine criteria for technology that would enhance democratic control. A positive, solutions-oriented book.)

  • Scheler, M. (1915) Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen, trans. W.W. Holdheim, Ressentiment, Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1994, ch. 5.

    (Discusses ‘ethos of industrialism’, suggesting that the modern world is characterized by an egalitarian resentment of aristocratic achievement that also supports technology.)

  • Sen, A. (1987) On Ethics and Economics, Oxford: Blackwell.

    (Critical of a welfare economic analyses of technological development that ignore equity issues.)

  • Shrader-Frechette, K.S. (1991) Risk and Rationality: Philosophical Foundations for Populist Reforms, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    (The subjection of human beings to technological risks is morally legitimate only to the extent people have given their free and informed consent.)

  • Tiles, M. and Oberdiek, H. (1995) Living in a Technological Culture: Human Tools and Human Values, London: Routledge.

    (Broad overview from an Anglo-American perspective.)

  • Unger, S.H. (1982) Controlling Technology: Ethics and the Responsible Engineer, New York: Addison Wesley; 2nd edn, 1994.

    (A socially critical engineer’s view of responsibility in the technical professions.)

  • Westra, L. and Shader-Frechette, K. (1996) Ethics and Technology, LaJolla, CA: Jones and Bartlett.

    (Useful general collection.)

  • Winner, L. (1986) The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    (Technologies are like political constitutions in that they set up ways of life, and as such ought to be created on a democratic basis.)

Citing this article:
Mitcham, Carl and Helen Nissenbaum. Bibliography. Technology and ethics, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L102-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.