Technology Assessment in a Dialetic Key

Majone, G. (1977). Technology Assessment in a Dialetic Key. IIASA Professional Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: PP-77-001

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Technology and institutions interact dialectically. Institutional factors affect the range of alternatives considered by innovators, the resolution of disputes over the consequences of innovation, and even the efficiency of technical projects. Thus, technological impacts are determined in the arena of institutional choice just as much as in the laboratory and on the drawing board. Examples from the fields of medical care, nuclear power generation, and broadcasting technology are used here to illustrate this interdependence. Dialectic thinking, in the Greek sense of a systematic critique of assumptions, arguments, and conclusions is necessary to counteract institutional and conceptual biases, and to support unconventional approaches. As the current interest in adversary proceedings and other dialectic modes of discourse shows, the narrow paradigm of decisionism is being replaced by quasi-jurisprudential methods for assessing the adequacy of arguments, the strength of evidence, and the intrinsic limitations of technical solutions.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Professional Paper)
Research Programs: General Research (GEN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:44
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:08

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