Thursday, June 10, 2021

Axiological Futurism: The Systematic Study of the Future of Values

Here's a new paper that I have forthcoming in the journal Futures. This paper has had a long gestation. I wrote it more than two and a half years ago. At the time, I thought it was one of my more interesting pieces. Apparently journal editors disagreed. Vehemently. This paper was rejected from four different journals before finally, on the fifth try, finding a home. I still think it is among the more interesting and important pieces I have written. It makes the case for 'axiological futurism', which is the study of the future of values. This links to my ongoing work on technology and moral revolutions. See what you think of it. Links to prepublication versions are available below. The final version will be open access (thanks to Ireland's new open access publishing agreements with Elsevier et al) and I will post that once it is available.

Title: Axiological Futurism: The Systematic Study of the Future of Values

Links: Official; Philpapers; Researchgate; Academia

Abstract: Human values seem to vary across time and space. What implications does this have for the future of human value? Will our human and (perhaps) post-human offspring have very different values from our own? Can we study the future of human values in an insightful and systematic way? This article makes three contributions to the debate about the future of human values. First, it argues that the systematic study of future values is both necessary in and of itself and an important complement to other future-oriented inquiries. Second, it sets out a methodology and a set of methods for undertaking this study. Third, it gives a practical illustration of what this ‘axiological futurism’ might look like by developing a model of the axiological possibility space that humans are likely to navigate over the coming decades. 



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