Graduate studies at Western
Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (2):221-249 (2010)
|Abstract||Due to their non-hierarchical structure, socio-technical networks are prone to the occurrence of the problem of many hands. In the present paper an approach is introduced in which people’s opinions on responsibility are empirically traced. The approach is based on the Rawlsian concept of Wide Reflective Equilibrium (WRE) in which people’s considered judgments on a case are reflectively weighed against moral principles and background theories, ideally leading to a state of equilibrium. Application of the method to a hypothetical case with an artificially constructed network showed that it is possible to uncover the relevant data to assess a consensus amongst people in terms of their individual WRE. It appeared that the moral background theories people endorse are not predictive for their actual distribution of responsibilities but that they indicate ways of reasoning and justifying outcomes. Two ways of ascribing responsibilities were discerned, corresponding to two requirements of a desirable responsibility distribution: fairness and completeness. Applying the method triggered learning effects, both with regard to conceptual clarification and moral considerations, and in the sense that it led to some convergence of opinions. It is recommended to apply the method to a real engineering case in order to see whether this approach leads to an overlapping consensus on a responsibility distribution which is justifiable to all and in which no responsibilities are left unfulfilled, therewith trying to contribute to the solution of the problem of many hands.|
|Keywords||Responsibility Problem of many hands Wide Reflective Equilibrium Procedural ethics Engineering ethics Socio-technical networks|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Georges Enderle & Lee A. Tavis (1998). A Balanced Concept of the Firm and the Measurement of its Long-Term Planning and Performance. Journal of Business Ethics 17 (11):1129-1144.
Ibo van de Poel, Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist, Neelke Doorn, Sjoerd Zwart & Lambèr Royakkers (2012). The Problem of Many Hands: Climate Change as an Example. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):49-67.
Joel Feinberg (1988). Responsibility for the Future. Philosophy Research Archives 14:93-113.
John Douard (1990). Ethics, AIDS, and Community Responsibility. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 11 (3).
Richard T. De George (1982). The Moral Responsibility of the Hospital. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (1):87-100.
Carson Strong (2010). Theoretical and Practical Problems with Wide Reflective Equilibrium in Bioethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (2):123-140.
Hilliard Aronovitch (1996). Reflective Equilibrium or Evolving Tradition? Inquiry 39 (3 & 4):399 – 419.
Neelke Doorn (2012). Responsibility Ascriptions in Technology Development and Engineering: Three Perspectives. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):69-90.
Neelke Doorn (2010). Applying Rawlsian Approaches to Resolve Ethical Issues: Inventory and Setting of a Research Agenda. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 91 (1):127 - 143.
Neelke Doorn (2010). A Procedural Approach to Distributing Responsibilities in R&D Networks. Poiesis and Praxis 7 (3):169-188.
Added to index2009-07-29
Total downloads6 ( #154,981 of 738,458 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?