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. 


  1. Thank you for announcing your article. The technology of planned obsolescence, which has been actively introduced into our lives for the last three decades, is in fact nothing more than the destruction of the principles and moral norms of society. We are running a path that is guaranteed to find only disappointment at the end. And this disappointment was already planned years ago with the help of many technologies, one of which is planned obsolescence. In the future, new technologies, unimaginable for today's understanding, technologies will be added to the technology of planned obsolescence.
    After all, the culture of consumption cannot grow forever. It is doomed to crises that wash away the "surplus" of previously purchased goods and introduce new consumption mechanisms that "stimulate" the economy. More and more useless but fast-breaking goods will be artificially introduced into use. And so, until we get to the physical upgrade of the person himself, with chips, codes, implants, artificial organs and a faded mind. I advise you to post this article on Instagram, where a sufficiently large number of people can see and appreciate it. I saw quite a lot of such posts there and noticed that on average they were published by accounts to which about 60 thousand subscribers were subscribed! I am sure that in order to achieve such indicators, the owners of these accounts have resorted to using the services of to quickly increase their number.