Technology and ethics Chapter uri icon


  • Research on ethics and technology investigates how technologies (human-made physical entities, often called tools or artifacts) directly or indirectly affect voluntary human behaviour. The scope of these studies ranges from the use of one tool in a defined practice to kinds of technologies, the systems they form, and to technology in general. Some studies are descriptive, others normative, and many are both. Descriptive areas of research include the production and use of technologies, behaviour in different technological settings (e.g. how a soldiers weapons modify battlefield engagements, including willingness to engage), and the beliefs and motivations that people hold about their artifacts. They often incorporate anthropological, sociological, and psychological research on material culture. Normative areas of research explore the right ways to fabricate things, the morality of the production and use of technologies, the moral status of technological entities, and how technology should contribute to ones understanding and pursuit of a meaningful life. What follows is an introductory overview of research in these areas as it has emerged especially since the mid-twentieth century.

author list (cited authors)

  • Miller, G., & Mitcham, C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Miller, Glen||Mitcham, Carl

Book Title

  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

publication date

  • April 2021