Future Consequences

Sven Ove Hannsson, 2011: “Coping with the unpredictable effects of future technologies,” Philosophy and Technology 24: 137-149.

 mere possibility arguments.

Hannsson offers a way out of ‘predicting the future’ while retaining the ability to make rational arguments about whether to plan for and adopt future technologies. He sets forth a claim for ‘mere possibility arguments’ that appear to similar to Fuller’s ‘proactionary principle’ and might well fit with it as Hannsson gives a five-step process for the evaluation of new technologies and their potential benefits and harms for humans and our world.

1. Inventory: Finding symmetric arguments

2. Scientific Assessment: Specification; Refutation

3. Symmetry Tests: Test of opposite effects; Test of alternative causes

4. Evaluation: Novelty; Spatio-temporal unlimitedness; Interference with complex systems

5. Hypothetical Retrospection


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