What Can We Learn From Fukushima?

Journal of Philosophical Research 40 (Supplement):251-257 (2015)
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Abstract

The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which occurred on the occasion of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, caused enormous damage to the political, social, cultural and natural environments in Japan and still continues to create problems.What can we learn from the case of Fukushima from the viewpoint of the philosophy of technology?First, I emphasize that technology is not considered a closed system constituted only of a technological factor in the narrow sense of the term, but must be considered an open system related to and constituted of various factors, including social, cultural, and natural environmental factors. In this sense, technology is inherently multidimensional.Second, as there is no guarantee that multiple factors maintain a harmonious and stable unity under various circumstances, technology inevitably brings about unintended consequences. We must always consider the unmanageable and unpredictable character of technology, which can be characterized as the “otherness” character of technology and is to be considered a central problem of the philosophy and ethics of technology.

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