The 'measure of a man' and the ethos of hospitality: towards an ethical dwelling with technology [Book Review]

AI and Society 25 (1):93-102 (2010)

Abstract

In this paper, I argue for the impossible possibility of an ethical dwelling with technology. In arguing for an ethical comportment in our dealing with technology, I am not only arguing for the consideration of the ethical implications of technology (which we already do) but also, and more importantly, for an ethics of technological artefacts qua technology. Thus, I attempt to argue for a decentering (or rather overcoming) of anthropocentric 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 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 hints to other possibilities. I proceed to use the work of Derrida and Levinas (with some help from Heidegger) to suggest a possible way to think (and do) an ethos beyond traditional ethics—an ethics of hospitality in which we dwell in a community of those that have nothing in common.

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Author's Profile

Lucas Introna
Lancaster University

References found in this work

We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961 - Distribution for the U.S. And Canada, Kluwer Boston.

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