Boaz Miller
Zefat Academic College
According to the Value Neutrality Thesis, technology is morally and politically neutral, neither good nor ‎bad. A knife may be put to ‎bad use to murder an innocent person, or to good use to peel ‎an apple for a starving ‎person, but the knife itself is a mere instrument, not a ‎proper subject for moral or political evaluation. ‎While contemporary philosophers of technology widely reject the Value Neutrality Thesis, it remains unclear whether claims about values in technology are just a figure of speech, or non-trivial empirical claims with genuine factual content and real-world implications. This paper provides the missing argument. I argue that by virtue of their material properties, technological artifacts are part of the normative order, rather than external to it. I illustrate how values can be empirically identified in technology. The reason why value-talk is not trivial or metaphorical is that due to the endurance and longevity of technological artifacts, values embedded in them have long-term implications that surpass their designers and builders. I further argue that taking sides in this debate has real-world implications in the form of moral constraints on the development of ‎technology. ‎
Keywords Technology  Value-Neutrality  Values  Artifacts
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Technological Medicine and the Autonomy of Man.Bjørn Hofmann - 2002 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (2):157-167.
Technology: Autonomous or Neutral.Hans Oberdiek - 1990 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (1):67 – 77.
Technology Studies.Rayvon Fouché (ed.) - 2007 - Sage Publications.
Trust in Technological Systems.Philip J. Nickel - 2013 - In M. J. de Vries, S. O. Hansson & A. W. M. Meijers (eds.), Norms in technology: Philosophy of Engineering and Technology, Vol. 9. Springer.
Determining Technology: Myopia and Dystopia.Gregory Swer - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):201-210.
Christian Ethics in a Technological Age.Brian Brock - 2010 - William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co..
Interpreting the Notion That Technology is Value-Neutral.Per Sundström - 1998 - Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 1 (1):41-45.
Technology and Values.Kristin Shrader-Frechette & Laura Westra (eds.) - 1997 - Rowman & Littlefield.


Added to PP index

Total views
579 ( #8,430 of 2,326,559 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
424 ( #712 of 2,326,559 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes