Morality by Design

Morality by Design

Technology's Challenge to Human Values

Wade Rowland


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The eleven short, linked essays in Morality by Design represent a culmination of two decades of research and writing on the topic of moral realism. Wade Rowland first introduces readers to the basic ideas of leading moral thinkers from Plato to Leibniz to Putnam, and then explores the subject through today’s political, economic and environmental conundrums. The collection presents a strong argument against postmodern moral relativism and the idea that only science can claim a body of reliable fact; challenges currently fashionable notions of the perfectibility of human individuals – and even the human species – through technology; and argues for the validity of common sense.
In guiding the reader through Enlightenment-era rationalist thought as it pertained to human nature and the foundations of morality, Rowland provides a coherent, intellectually sound and intuitively appealing alternative to the nihilistic views popularised by contemporary radical relativism. Morality by Design ultimately seeks to convince readers that there is such a thing as moral fact, and that they do indeed have what it takes to make robust and durable moral judgments.


Wade Rowland:

Wade Rowland is a former Maclean-Hunter Chair of Ethics in Communication at Ryerson University in Toronto. He also teaches the cultural history of communications technologies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. He is the author of the books Galileo’s Mistake, Ockham’s Razor and Spirit of the Web.