November 17, 2010
Checkpoint Final Project topic essay
The topic I choose is, could the continuing advancement of technology create unforeseen ethical concerns? What might they be? I think that philosophy should not ignore technology. I believe that it is technology that makes society hang together. It is very important from an economic force as well as a cultural force. During the past centuries, the philosophy of technology has been concerned with the impact that technology has had on society. Mitcham (1994) calls this type of philosophy of technology ‘humanities philosophy of technology’ because it is continuous with social science and the humanities. In addition to this, there is also a branch of the philosophy of technology that is concerned with technology in itself. This entry focuses on the latter branch of the philosophy of technology, which seeks continuity with the philosophy of science rather than social science and the humanities. The approach is analytic; other approaches are possible, but will not be discussed. Let’s take a look at the historical developments that have taken place. One early theme is the thesis that technology learns from or imitates nature (Plato, Laws X 899a ff.). According to Democritus, for example, house-building and weaving were first invented by imitating swallows and spiders building their nests and nets, respectively (fr D154; perhaps the oldest extant source for the exemplary role of nature is Herakleitos fr D112). Aristotle referred to this tradition by repeating Democritus' examples, but he did not maintain that technology can only imitate nature: “generally art in some cases completes what nature cannot bring to a finish, and in others imitates nature” (Physics II.8, 199a15; see also Physics II.2, and see Schummer 2001 for discussion). I believe that technology and philosophy have grown with each other. I believe this because it takes...