New Technologies. Rethinking Ethics and the Environment

  • Luca ValeraEmail author
Part of the Ethics of Science and Technology Assessment book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 46)


Our lives are saturated with technology, to such an extent that we consider technological devices to be “essential” to live. In order to understand this existential situation, we have to return to the notion of technology (tecnoslogos). A broad definition led us to recognize all objects that are not “natural” as technological, changing the domain of the artificial to the technological one. Another common misunderstanding is the confusion between technique and technology, as if the two terms identified the same sphere of reality. In this sense, we can summarize the status of contemporary technology by means of three main sentences: (1) Technology overlaps with the artificial; (2) Technology fundamentally coincides with its function of facilitating our work; (3) Technology is just a means, an instrument. Within this framework, the “logos of the tecnos” is thus entirely lost, meaning technology as a simple instrument or means in the context of a given action. The question is whether the logos refers to the tecnos or to the being that uses the tecnos. The independence (logos) of technology from human action as a unique characteristic of technological behavior obligates us to rethink ethics in the “technological age:” technological devices are not only used, but also interact with us. In this regard, we can say that technology has become an Environment for us, and we can no longer “stop interacting” with it. Since this relation no longer depends on us, we have to rethink at technology from both an epistemological and ethical perspective.


Technological devices Technological environment Ethics of technology Epistemology of technology Responsibility 



This manuscript was supported by Research Project VRI Interdisciplina UC No. II160035.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Bioethics and Department of PhilosophyPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiago de ChileChile

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