This article aims at addressing the ethical issue of autonomy in the contemporary development of technology. To shed light on certain aspects of the relationship between autonomy and technology, I refer to reflections concerning self-love, society and technology by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his two Discourses and to a metaphor found in one of his Moral Letters. Taking these passages as a point of departure, I will suggest that the ethical questions raised by the development of new technology highlight the limits of autonomy understood as self-sufficiency and find resonance in the Rousseauian critique of technological progress. Primarily, it is important to define the topic of new technology and to outline the issues that are going to be addressed: I will focus on advances in interconnectedness and effectiveness and explore what conceptual tools Rousseau contributes to the discussion. My hypothesis here will be twofold: first, that Rousseau would classify interconnectedness as a loss of autonomy because it increases our dependency on others’ judgement; and second, that Rousseau would find the concept of increased effectiveness difficult to assess because, on the one hand, it stems from the very technological progress he discredits, but, on the other hand, technology makes an irrefutable contribution to increased self-sufficiency and therefore autonomy. In the conclusion, I criticize the notion of autonomy meant as self-sufficiency in light of the contradictions new technologies pose to this definition.
|Titolo:||What Would Rousseau Say? Loss or Enhancement of Autonomy in Developing New Technologies?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|