Recovering Ethics After "Technics": Developing Critical Text on Technology
Marck, Patricia B.
Nursing Ethics. 2000 Jan; 7(1): 5-14.
Much modern science and ethics debate is on high-profile problems such as animal organ transplantation, genetic engineering and fetal tissue research, in discourse that assumes technical tones. Other work, such as narrative ethics, expresses the failed promise of technology in the vivid detail of human experience. However, the essential nature of contemporary technology remains largely opaque to our present ethical lens on health care and on society. The limited controversies of modern science and ethics perpetuate 'technics', a technical, problem-solving mindset that fails to grapple successfully with the complexity of technology. A critical dialectic between practice and scholarship widens the ethical conversation in nursing to consider technology as an ongoing set of daily and fundamental moral choices on how we live. Critical text on technology recovers ethics from the limits of technics, and assists nurses to develop an inherent knowledge of technology that is needed to provide ethical care in a technological world. There are overlooked ethical challenges in the mundane, everyday routine activities of professional practice, and these have gone largely unexamined. Ethical behavior is not the display of one's moral rectitude in times of crisis. It is the day-to-day expression of one's commitment to other persons and the ways in which human beings relate to one another in their daily interactions.
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