A Friendly Critique of Levinasian Machine Ethics
In this article, I provide a sympathetic critique of a particular orientation or approach in machine ethics, namely, "Levinasian" machine ethics. I am sympathetic insofar as Levinasian machine ethics articulates what I call a "normativity-first" approach to ethics and uses the particularly striking case of robots, or artificial agents, to illustrate it. However, the particular way in which Levinasians like David Gunkel articulate a normativity-first ethics is, I think, misguided. In order to be successful, such an ethics would need to be made more Levinasian, but doing so would lead to an ethical theory with undesirable consequences in the context of digital and surveillance capitalism. I will conclude by suggesting that the aims of Levinasian machine ethics might be better served by an ethics of design oriented toward transforming our shared forms of moral life.
Gamez, P. (2022). A Friendly Critique of Levinasian Machine Ethics. Southern Journal of Philosophy Wiley.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/sjp.12455
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01 Mar 2022