Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Eng Ethics. 2014 Jun;20(2):583-95. doi: 10.1007/s11948-013-9452-5. Epub 2013 May 24.

Nuclear power is neither right nor wrong: the case for a tertium datur in the ethics of technology.

Author information

1
Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, 2628 BX, Delft, The Netherlands, R.C.Hillerbrand@tudelft.nl.

Abstract

The debate over the civilian use of nuclear power is highly polarised. We argue that a reasonable response to this deep disagreement is to maintain that advocates of both camps should modify their positions. According to the analysis we propose, nuclear power is neither entirely right nor entirely wrong, but rather right and wrong to some degree. We are aware that this non-binary analysis of nuclear power is controversial from a theoretical point of view. Utilitarians, Kantians, and other moral theorists make sharp, binary distinctions between right and wrong acts. However, an important argument speaking in favour of our non-binary analysis is that it better reflects our considered intuitions about the ethical trade-offs we face in discussions of nuclear power. The aim of this article is to make this argument sharp by explaining how it can be rendered compatible with, and supported by, the Capability Approach, which is quickly becoming one of the most influential frameworks for thinking about human development.

PMID:
23703452
DOI:
10.1007/s11948-013-9452-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center