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Ethical debate often lags far behind the development of new technology. As a result, confusion abounds over what is permissible, what is not, and what we should do about any of it. This uncertainty results in bad policy decisions and unnecessary strife in some communities, as has happened in the case of transgenic or genetically modified organisms.
In this book, D.R. Cooley, associate professor of philosophy and ethics at North Dakota State University, shows that a pragmatic solution to this problem is to develop a practical moral code that can be used to evaluate any technological development before it happens. In ensuring this code’s wide-ranging applicability, Cooley has designed it to include moral principles and a hierarchical value theory created from a combination of the best elements of Kant’s and Mill’s ethical theories, applied ethics, including environmental, bioethics, and business ethics, and how people actually think about morality in their everyday lives. In addition, the author examines and offers solutions to a number of problematic views in current technology debates after examining each in much greater detail than is currently available. By taking seriously C.L. Stevenson’s claim that philosophy should be informed by all the sciences, this work’s pragmatic code is designed to solve problems, rather than create or foster them.