Reflective Equilibrium in R & D Networks

Science, Technology, and Human Values 35 (2):174-199 (2010)
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Abstract

In this article, we develop an approach for the moral assessment of research and development networks on the basis of the reflective equilibrium approach proposed by Rawls and Daniels. The reflective equilibrium approach aims at coherence between moral judgments, principles, and background theories. We use this approach because it takes seriously the moral judgments of the actors involved in R & D, whereas it also leaves room for critical reflection about these judgments. It is shown that two norms, namely reflective learning and openness and inclusiveness, which are used in the literature on policy and technological networks, contribute to achieving a justified overlapping consensus. We apply the approach to a case study about the development of an innovative sewage treatment technology and show how in this case the two norms are or could be instrumental in achieving a justified overlapping consensus on relevant moral issues.

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Author Profiles

Sjoerd D. Zwart
Delft University of Technology

References found in this work

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Political liberalism: Reply to Habermas.John Rawls - 1995 - Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):132-180.

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