Higher Education

Society, Ethics, and Technology, 5th Edition

  • Morton Winston The College of New Jersey
  • Ralph Edelbach The College of New Jersey
  • ISBN-10: 1133943551  |  ISBN-13: 9781133943556
  • 496 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2006, 2003
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $124.50
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From today's headlines to your classroom, SOCIETY, ETHICS, AND TECHNOLOGY, Fifth Edition, explores the cutting edge of technological innovation and how these advances represent profound moral dilemmas for society as a whole. Winston and Edelbach's timely anthology, updated with new readings and introductions, examines the consequences of technological change from a variety of historical, social, and philosophical perspectives. Your students will build a strong foundation in theoretical and applied ethics as they examine critically the social effects of the technology in their daily lives. In addition to highlighting ethical theory, the readings assist students in establishing frameworks for ethical decision-making. New articles examine the impact of contemporary technological advances, such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and social media. Special coverage of the history of technology focuses on ground-breaking developments, as well as the technological underpinnings of contemporary globalization. In addition, the book explores the future of technology in such areas as human rights, overpopulation, biotechnology, information technology, climate change, and the environment. New readings draw on a variety of contemporary social issues and numerous disciplines, from philosophy and sociology to engineering and computer science, while insightful introductions and focus questions guide student comprehension.

Features and Benefits

  • Broad coverage of both theoretical and applied topics ensures a balanced outlook and presentation that remains both rigorous and accessible.
  • The book's introductory essay by Morton Winston analyzes key terms such as technology, infrastructure, and environment, and outlines a process for ethical decision-making.
  • Introductions before each reading provide background and theoretical context to help students place the reading in contemporary debates.
  • Focus questions preceding each selection direct students to key arguments and ideas, and to valuable supplementary reading.
  • Chapters on nanotechnology and biotechnology, security and surveillance, robotics and artificial intelligence, the internet and social networking, overpopulation and climate change address some of the most pressing ethical dilemmas facing today's society.
  • An additional, comprehensive archive of ethical case studies and topics is available via the text's companion website.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Morton Winston, "Children of Invention Revisited".
1.1 History. James Burke, "The Pinball Effect." Steven Johnson, "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation." Arthur Donovan, "Containerization and Globalization." Rosalind Williams, "History as Technological Change." 1.2 Society.
Richard Sclove, "I'd Hammer Out Freedom: Technology as Politics." Andrew Feenberg, "Democratic Rationalization." Sheila Jasanoff, "Technologies of Humility." Judy Wajcman, "Addressing Technological Change: The Challenge to Social Theory." 1.3 Ethics. Hans Jonas, "Technology and Responsibility: Reflections on the New Task of Ethics." Michael Davis, 'Ain't no one here but us social forces': Constructing the Professional Responsibility of Engineers. "David Strong, Technological Subversion. "Deborah Johnson and Thomas Powers, "Ethics and Technology: A Program for Future Research".
2.1 Security & Surveillance. Max Boot, "The Consequences of the Information Revolution". Rebecca MacKinnon, "Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom." Jay Stanley and Barry Steinhardt, "Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society." James Stacey Taylor, "In Praise of Big Brother: Why We Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Some. Government Surveillance." 2.2 Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Abigail Tucker, "Birth of a Robot." Rodney Brooks, "Us and Them." Jeff Hawkins, "On Intelligence." Stephen Baker, "Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything." 2.3 Nanotechnology. Armin Grunwald, "Nanotechnology: A New Field of Ethical Inquiry?" James Hughes, "Global Technology Regulation." Bill Joy, "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us." Ray Kurzweil, "Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, and Ethics: Promise and Peril". 2.4 Internet & Social Media. Lori Andrews, "I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy." Nicholas Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid." Lawrence Lessig, "Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy." Clay Shirky, "The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change." 2.5 Biotech and Genetic Engineering. Francis Fukuyama, "Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution." Mark Hanson, "Patenting Genes and Life: Improper Commodification?" Leon Kass, "Preventing a Brave New World: Why We Should Ban Human Cloning." Michael Sandel, "The Case against Perfection." 2.6 Population, Environment, & Climate Change. Donald Aitken, "Global Warming, Rapid Climate Change, and Renewable Energy Solutions for Gaia." Amory Lovins, "A Farewell to Fossil Fuels." David Fridley, "Nine Challenges of Alternative Energy." Jeffrey Sachs, "Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet."

What's New

  • A new chapter on the Internet, privacy, and the power of social media features new readings from Lawrence Lessig, Nicholas Carr, Lori Andrews, and Clay Shirky.
  • This edition offers expanded coverage of surveillance and security technologies, with new readings by Lori Andrews and Rebecca MacKinnon.
  • An updated chapter on climate change, the environment, and overpopulation features new readings from Jeffrey Sachs, Amory Lovins, Donald Aitken, and David Fridley.
  • The chapter on biotechnology, genetic engineering, and the "posthuman" future has been updated with new selections from Francis Fukuyama and Mark Hanson.
  • New readings from James Burke, Steven Johnson, and Arthur Donovan provide expanded coverage of the history of innovation and the process of technological change, with.
  • New readings from Andrew Feenberg, David Strong, and Michael Davis provide updated coverage of social values and ethical responsibility as they relate to technological change.
  • This edition includes coverage of artificial intelligence and robotics, with new readings from Abigail Tucker, Jeff Hawkins, and Stephen Baker.
  • New readings from Armin Grunwald and James Hughes update the text's coverage the ethical and social impact of nanotechnology.
  • This edition features cases for discussion from recent news events concerning the social and environmental impact of technology.

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Printed Text + Global Technology Watch Instant Access Code

ISBN-10: 1285337530  | ISBN-13: 9781285337531

List Price = $170.95  | CengageBrain Price = $170.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $128.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Society, Ethics, and Technology
    List Price = $165.95  | CengageBrain Price = $165.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $124.50
  • Global Technology Watch Instant Access 1 term (6 months)
    List Price = $17.00  | CengageBrain Price = $17.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $17.00

Bundle: Society, Ethics, and Technology, 5th + Global Technology Watch Printed Access Card

ISBN-10:  1285337557 | ISBN-13:  9781285337555

List Price = $170.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $128.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Society, Ethics, and Technology
    List Price = $165.95  | CengageBrain Price = $165.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $124.50
  • Global Technology Watch Printed Access Card
    List Price = $21.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $15.75

Efficacy and Outcomes


"This text will be especially helpful while instructing ethics in a information technology class."

— Heather Wilson, Northern Essex Community College

"This text is a rich and varied anthology dealing with the relationships between technology, society and ethics from both historical and contemporary perspectives."

— Alison Miyauchi, Alberta College of Art and Design


— John Fielding, Roger Williams University

"Balanced, comprehensive compendium."

— Thomas Oberdan, Clemson University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Global Technology Watch Instant Access 1 term (6 months)  (ISBN-10: 1111376352 | ISBN-13: 9781111376352)

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY WATCH takes the guesswork and last-minute searching out of providing your students with the most up-to-date and relevant technology-related video, images, news stories, and podcasts. Global Technology Watch helps breathe new life into your Computing course by emphasizing why computer concepts matter in today's world. With a breadth of topics including Technology Ethics and Information Privacy, you can ensure that your students are on the cutting edge of technology news and information.

List Price = $17.00  | CengageBrain Price = $17.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $17.00

Student Supplements

Global Technology Watch Instant Access 1 term (6 months)  (ISBN-10: 1111376352 | ISBN-13: 9781111376352)

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY WATCH helps you get more out of your computing course by tying the concepts you learn in class to current technology news from around the globe. With the most up-to-date technology-related video, images, news stories, and podcasts and a breadth of topics, you can ensure that you are on the cutting edge of technology news and information.

List Price = $17.00  | CengageBrain Price = $17.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $17.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Morton Winston

Morton Winston is a professor of philosophy and chairman of the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classical Studies at the College of New Jersey. He teaches classes in bioethics, political philosophy, ethical theory, philosophy of technology, environmental ethics, genocide, and human rights. He has published several books and numerous articles on topics related to human rights, applied ethics, and cognitive science. Professor Winston has received three Fulbright Scholarships, to South Africa, Thailand, and Denmark, and has served as the chairman of the board of directors of Amnesty International.

Ralph Edelbach

Ralph Edelbach is an associate professor of technological studies at the College of New Jersey. He teaches classes on ethics and technology and is president of the College of New Jersey Federation of Teachers, Local 2364, AFT.