Technologies, Narratives, and Practical Wisdom

Fernando Nascimento


Recent digital and computational developments dramatically changed overnight the pace in which new technologies are integrated into the lives of billions of people and have changed how people use their time and relate to each other and their physical environment. This paper explores how some concepts of Ricœur’s practical philosophy can offer significant contributions to the ethical discussion of new technologies. I suggest that a narrative approach to the ethical debates on technologies helps to put them in context and to analyze them in a dialectical manner concerning the natural and human processes that will be impacted by them. I then explore how the narrative approach leads to an ethical proposal based on Ricœur’s critical phronesis (practical wisdom). While narratives work as a propaedeutic to ethics, a narrative approach to critical phronesis unveils and highlights some of its conceptual attributes that make it uniquely suited to tackle ethical issues related to technologies.


Practical Wisdom; Phronesis; Philosophy of Technology; Narrative Theory; Ethics of Technology

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Copyright (c) 2020 Fernando Nascimento

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This journal is published by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh as part of its D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program and is cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

ISSN 2156-7808 (online)