Technology shapes every aspect of human experience and is the primary driver of social and environmental change. Given this, it is perhaps surprising that so little time is spent studying, analysing and ethically assessing new technologies. Occasionally, an issue attracts public attention – for example, the use of human embryonic stem cells in medical research or the online file sharing of music and movies. However, these are the exceptions. For the most part, each new technology and application is enthusiastically embraced with little critical reflection on how it will impact people's lives or the world. Moreover, when an issue raised by an emerging technology is attended to, the language, concepts and critical perspectives to properly address it are frequently found to be lacking.
The aim of this textbook is to introduce students and other readers to the ethical issues associated with a broad array of emerging technologies, as well as to help them develop the analytical skills and perspectives necessary for effectively evaluating novel technologies and applications. The technologies discussed include nanotechnology, synthetic biology, robotics, genetic engineering, human enhancement, geoengineering, cultured meat, virtual reality, information technologies, sex selection, and many more.
Key features include:
• Comprehensive coverage from thirty six chapters written by leading thinkers in the field
• An extensive introduction that presents a framework for analysing the ethical dimensions of emerging technologies
• Section overviews and chapter summaries that help students master the book's content
• Discussion questions that provoke reflection on the issues discussed in each chapter
Ethics and Emerging Technologies is ideal for undergraduate courses on technology and society and technology and ethics. It is also appropriate for technology-oriented modules in environmental ethics and bioethics, as well as ethics modules in engineering and information technology courses.