Books  |    |  February 24, 2021

Harmonious Technology: A Confucian Ethics of Technology

Book edited by Pak-Hang Wong and Tom Xiaowei Wang.
Published by Routledge Press.
144 pages.

Technology has become a major subject of philosophical ethical reflection in recent years, as the novelty and disruptiveness of technology confront us with new possibilities and unprecedented outcomes as well as fundamental changes to our ‘normal’ ways of living that demand deep reflection of technology. However, philosophical and ethical analysis of technology has until recently drawn primarily from the Western philosophical and ethical traditions, and philosophers and scholars of technology discuss the potential contribution of non-Western approaches only sparingly. Given the global nature of technology, however, there is an urgent need for multiculturalism in philosophy and ethics of technology that include non-Western perspectives in our thinking about technology. While there is an increased attention to non-Western philosophy in the field, there are few systematic attempts to articulate different approaches to the ethics of technology based on other philosophical and ethical traditions. The present edited volume picks up the task of diversifying the ethics of technology by exploring the possibility of Confucian ethics of technology. In the six chapters of this volume, the authors examine various ideas, concepts, and theories in Confucianism and apply them to the ethical challenges of technology; in the epilogue the editors review the key ideas articulated throughout the volume to identify possible ways forward for Confucian ethics of technology.

Harmonious Technology revives Confucianism for philosophical and ethical analysis of technology and presents Confucian ethics of technology as another approach to the ethic of technology. It will be essential for philosophers and ethicists of technology, who are urged to consider beyond the Western paradigms. More broadly, the volume will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of philosophy, science and technology studies, innovation studies, political science, and social studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Confucian Ethics of Technology? — Pak-Hang Wong and Tom Xiaowei Wang

  • Confucian Ritual Technicity and Philosophy of Technology — Tom Xiaowei Wang
  • Dao, Harmony and Personhood: Towards a Confucian Ethics of Technology — Pak-Hang Wong
  • Technological Mediation in and for Confucianism-based Cultures — Ching Hung
  • Self-Cultivation of the Confucian Engineer: What Engineering Ethics Education Can Learn from Confucian Moral Theory — Qin Zhu
  • Artificial Intelligence, Personal Decisions, Consent, and the Confucian Idea of Oneness — Pak-Hang Wong
  • Confucian Personhood and the Scientific Spirit: Ren as the Foundation of Confucian Ethics of Technology — Fei Teng

Epilogue: The Future of Confucian Ethics of Technology — Tom Xiaowei Wang and Pak-Hang Wong

About the Editors

  • Pak-Hang Wong is Research Associate at the Research Group for Ethics in IT in the Department of Informatics, Universität Hamburg, Germany.
  • Tom Xiaowei Wang is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science and Technology in the School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China.