The Good in the Pill. Assessing the Plausibility of Visions of Desirable Worlds
Building on the analyses provided in Chaps. 3 and 4, this chapter establishes that general claims regarding the desirability of an emerging technology appear to often draw on a superficial unifying rhetoric of supposedly shared values. The discourses on the desirability of the Nanopil implicitly or explicitly refer to a number of values – autonomy, care, comfort, efficiency – that the technology is claimed to promote. The analysis demonstrates the ambivalence and contradictions inherent in the expectation that a technology “offers a solution for a social problem”, “addresses a need” and “improves our current practice”. It does so by building on frameworks developed in the field of philosophy of technology and within the “Vision Assessment” approach. Such frameworks bring forward the moral connotation of possible design choices and the latent ethical controversies in stakeholders’ normative positions, as well as potential technology-mediated changes in the current moral landscape and value framework.