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Five Views on Values and Technology

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1 Author(s)

This paper describes four common postures in writings on values and technology. These are called: the Luddite, the technocratic, the apocalyptic, and the "cautionary moral sermon." These positions are considered to be legitimate, but lacking in both instrumental significance or adequacy of their conceptualizations of human values. A discussion of values in the framework of a rudimentary decision theory is then presented. This leads to a consideration of several paradoxes involving values¿one based on the dimension of time, another based on the shift from individual to collective values, and the third based on the exchange of one type of value fbr another as problems are solved. These paradoxes are offered as partial justification for a fifth perspective on the relation between values and technology: that of the "curious, hopeful, and sometimes astonished observer."

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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:SMC-2 ,  Issue: 5 )