The measure of a man and the ethics of machines

Introna, L (2003) The measure of a man and the ethics of machines. Working Paper. The Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University.

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In this paper I argue for an ethics of machines. In arguing for an ethics of machines I am not only arguing for the consideration of the ethical implications of machines (which we already do) but also, and more importantly, for an ethics of machines qua machines, as such. Thus, I attempt to argue for a decentering of ethics, urging us to move beyond any centre, whatever it may be-anthropological, biological, etc. I argue that if we take ethics seriously we must admit that our only measure cannot be that of man. To develop the argument I use an episode in Star Trek where the fate of the highly sophisticated android Commander Data is to be decided. I show how the moral reasoning about Data remains anthropocentric but with some attempt to reach beyond it. I proceed to use the work of Heidegger and Levinas to suggest a possible way to think (and do) a decentered ethics

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11 Jul 2011 21:06
Last Modified:
17 Oct 2023 23:55