2009: Volume 2, Issue 1, pp. 5-21

Technoethical Inquiry: 
From Technological Systems to Society

Rocci Luppicini



This paper explores technoethical inquiry as a social systems theory and methodology used within the field of Technoethics. The purpose is to leverage readers understanding of theoretical concepts and considerations underlying technoethical inquiry. To this end, the paper is divided into three sections. First, it sketches out social systems theory, its general principles, and its unique approach to the study of society. This helps to situate social systems theory within a larger context of social study and distinguish it from other approaches. Next, the paper discusses technology as a central organizing construct of contemporary society viewed as a technological system. This helps to clarify the nature of contemporary society, explain the intermediating role of technology in society, and address the new social/ethical considerations arising from the intermediation of technology in society. Finally, techoethical inquiry is posited as a social system theory and method for guiding social and ethical inquiry. Examples derived from the study of mass media are used to illustrate basic principles of technoethical inquiry.



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