Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Technological Change and Human Obsolescence: An Axiological Analysis

I have a new paper coming out. This one is about how rapid changes in technology might induce human obsolescence. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I try to argue that, contrary to first impressions, it might be a good thing.

Details, including links to the pre-print version, are below.

Title: Technological Change and Human Obsolescence: an Axiological Analysis
Journal: Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Links: Official; Philpapers; Researchgate; Academia
Abstract: Can human life have value in a world in which humans are rendered obsolete by technological advances? This article answers this question by developing an extended analysis of the axiological impact of human obsolescence. In doing so, it makes four main arguments. First, it argues that human obsolescence is a complex phenomenon that can take on at least four distinct forms. Second, it argues that one of these forms of obsolescence (‘actual-general’ obsolescence) is not a coherent concept and hence not a plausible threat to human well-being. Third, it argues that existing fears of technologically-induced human obsolescence are less compelling than they first appear. Fourth, it argues that there are two reasons for embracing a world of widespread, technologically-induced human obsolescence. 

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