Technology assessment and the 'ethical matrix'

Poiesis and Praxis 1 (4):295-307 (2003)
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Abstract
This paper explores the usefulness of the 'ethical matrix', proposed by Ben Mepham, as a tool in technology assessment, specifically in food ethics. We consider what the matrix is, how it might be useful as a tool in ethical decision-making, and what drawbacks might be associated with it. We suggest that it is helpful for fact-finding in ethical debates relating to food ethics; but that it is much less helpful in terms of weighing the different ethical problems that it uncovers. Despite this drawback, we maintain that, with some modifications, the ethical matrix can be a useful tool in debates in food ethics. We argue that useful modifications might be to include future generations amongst the stakeholders in the matrix, and to substitute the principle of solidarity for the principle of justice.
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