Moral Uncertainty in Technomoral Change: Bridging the Explanatory Gap

Perspectives on Science 30 (2):260-283 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper explores the role of moral uncertainty in explaining the morally disruptive character of new technologies. We argue that existing accounts of technomoral change do not fully explain its disruptiveness. This explanatory gap can be bridged by examining the epistemic dimensions of technomoral change, focusing on moral uncertainty and inquiry. To develop this account, we examine three historical cases: the introduction of the early pregnancy test, the contraception pill, and brain death. The resulting account highlights what we call “differential disruption” and provides a resource for fields such as technology assessment, ethics of technology, and responsible innovation.

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Author Profiles

Philip J. Nickel
Eindhoven University of Technology