Implicit values in technology assessment
A plea for reflexive normativity
In terms of its objectives, philosophical presuppositions, and methodological procedures, technology assessment (TA) is – like other methods of systematic knowledge production too – characterized by normative selectivities. In contrast to ethical and societal aspects related to its object of investigation, they are not always explicitly addressed. This poses a problem regarding the transparency and neutrality of TA. The concept of “reflexive normativity” proposed here aims at making the value relations of TA transparent and avoiding epistemic-normative selectivities. The resulting plurality can be utilized productively to further develop TA. Therefore, the concept proposed here is a contribution to both theory discussion and quality assurance of TA.
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