Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 26, Issue 2, 2022

Ehsan ArzroomchilarOrcid-ID
Pages 285-299

“Structural Ethics” as a Framework to Study the Moral Role of Non-Humans

A challenging issue within the philosophy of technology is the moral relevancy of artifacts. While many philosophers agree that artifacts have moral significance, there are numerous positions on how moral relevancy ought to be understood, ranging from scholars who argue that there is no room for artifacts in moral debates to those who argue for the moral agency of artifacts. In this paper, I attempt to avoid extreme positions; accordingly, I reject both the neutrality thesis and the moral agency of artifacts thesis. Instead, I propose finding a compromise for describing their moral role. In doing so, I take Philip Brey’s idea of developing a new framework, called ‘Structural Ethics,’ as my point of departure. Although the structural ethics proposed by Brey needs some revisions, it may serve as a proper metaethical theory to account for the role of non-humans.