NanoEthics 14 (3):259-269 (2020)

Authors
Philip J. Nickel
Eindhoven University of Technology
Abstract
This paper develops a philosophical account of moral disruption. According to Robert Baker, moral disruption is a process in which technological innovations undermine established moral norms without clearly leading to a new set of norms. Here I analyze this process in terms of moral uncertainty, formulating a philosophical account with two variants. On the harm account, such uncertainty is always harmful because it blocks our knowledge of our own and others’ moral obligations. On the qualified harm account, there is no harm in cases where moral uncertainty is related to innovation that is “for the best” in historical perspective or where uncertainty is the expression of a deliberative virtue. The two accounts are compared by applying them to Baker’s historical case of the introduction of mechanical ventilation and organ transplantation technologies, as well as the present-day case of mass data practices in the health domain.
Keywords disruptive innovation  disruptive technology  moral disruption  moral uncertainty  withdrawal of life support  ethics of organ transplantation  data ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-020-00375-3
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.
Moral Uncertainty and its Consequences.Ted Lockhart - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

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