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“The Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies; An Introduction” – New Open Access Book

Sep 6, 2023 | ESDiT updates

About this book

Technologies shape who we are, how we organize our societies and how we relate to nature. For example, social media challenges democracy; artificial intelligence raises the question of what is unique to humans; and the possibility to create artificial wombs may affect notions of motherhood and birth. Some have suggested that we address global warming by engineering the climate, but how does this impact our responsibility to future generations and our relation to nature?

This book shows how technologies can be socially and conceptually disruptive and investigates how to come to terms with this disruptive potential.

Four technologies are studied: social media, social robots, climate engineering and artificial wombs. The authors highlight the disruptive potential of these technologies, and the new questions this raises. The book also discusses responses to conceptual disruption, like conceptual engineering, the deliberate revision of concepts.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction (Stefan Buijsman, Philip Brey, Guido Löhr, Elena Ziliotti, Jeroen Hopster, Ibo van de Poel)
  2. Social Media and Democracy (Elena Ziliotti, Arthur Gwagwa, Patricia D. Reyes Benavides, Matthew J. Dennis)
  3. Social Robots and Society (Guido Löhr, Michael T. Dale, Arthur Gwagwa, Anna Puzio, Giulia Perugia, Dina Babushkina, Sven Nyholm, Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Bart A. Kamphorst, Cindy Friedman)
  4. Climate Engineering and the Future of Justice (Behnam Taebi, Dominic Lenzi, Kristy Claassen, Alessio Gerola, Julia Rijssenbeek, Lorina Buhr, Ben Hofbauer, Elisa Paiusco)
  5. Ectogestative Technology and the Beginning of Life (Lily Eva Frank, Llona Kavege, Anna Puzio, Julia Hermann)
  6. Conceptual Disruption and the Ethics of Technology (Samuela Marchiori, Michael Klenk, Guido Löhr, Philip Brey, Björn Lundgren, Jeroen Hopster, Kevin Scharp)

This is a both original and very accessible book. Everyone interested in the philosophical and social aspects of technological change has much to learn from it. I am particularly impressed by the authors’ innovative treatment of the new notion of conceptual disruption.

Sven Ove Hansson,
Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden


  • Ibo van de Poel
  • Lily Eva Frank
  • Julia Hermann
  • Jeroen Hopster
  • Dominic Lenzi
  • Sven Nyholm
  • Behnam Taebi
  • Elena Zillioti