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On the Relationship between Ethics of Technology and Theory of Society

On the Relationship between Ethics of Technology and Theory of Society
Project team:

Grunwald, Armin (Project leader); Gotthard Bechmann

Start date:


End date:


Research area:

Knowledge society and knowledge policy

Project description

The initial hypothesis of this project is that ethics of technology is inadequately substantiated with respect to various aspects of a theory of society. Ethical concepts generally presume simply determined social "realities" or use corresponding notions without reflecting these or checking them against empirical findings and paradigms of the social sciences. Most often, the result is more or less naïve individualism which proceeds on the assumption that action by the individual has to be ethically reflected and correspondingly oriented in order to achieve ethically optimal technology management or design.

The goals of the analyses are:

  • to check the initial hypotheses against relevant concepts of technological ethics and to reconstruct their sociological assumptions,
  • to investigate the relationships between technology, morals, ethics, sociology and society in historical and social-theory terms,
  • to study the generation of societal standards affecting the development of technology and to look at the role of ethics in this,
  • to clarify the relationship between ethics, politics and participation in managing moral questions regarding technology.



Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-22500