The Moral Philosophy of Automobiles

Abstract   The ethics of technology use has tended to arise from the theory of the role of technology in human life and society and thus introduces a bias into moral assessment of such use. I propose a dialectical method of morally assessing a technology use without such a preset notion. Instead the assumption is that the moral agent is as responsible for use of a technology as for any other moral action of the agent, that is, the individual’s use of a technology is a moral action that can be morally assessed. I apply this outlook to automobile use, weighing its moral pros and cons, such as in terms of autonomy, environmental degradation, land use, health hazards, and other moral drawbacks arising from the technology’s use or non-use. Although the conclusion leaves the final moral assessment undecided, the method points to a way fairly to assess morally the use of technologies in terms of human betterment and environmental and health concerns, minimizing biases from assumptions of the role or nature of technologies. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9320-8 Authors Lantz Miller, CUNY, New York, NY, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863
Keywords Autonomy  Energy efficiency  Environmental degradation  Human health  Land use  Moral agency  Technoethics  Technorealism
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9320-8
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Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Kant Immanuel - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis.David J. Chalmers - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):9 - 10.
The Technological Society.Jacques Ellul - 1964 - New York: Knopf.

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