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Mark Sentesy “How Technology Changes Ethical Experience”

Mark Sentesy “How Technology Changes Ethical Experience”

Jan 29, 2016
– 4:30pm
124 Sparks

What role does technology play in ethics? The question is not answered by working out how agents choose to use particular technologies, but by asking whether technology changes the infrastructure of our ethical experience and decisions. This paper argues that it does, in three ways: 1) the technologies we use impose definite structures of human activity on the world, 2) technologies structure what we do and how we do it by changing what possibilities are available to us, and therefore how we experience the world, and 3) unlike any other kind of thing, technology seems not to make moral demands of us: it seems morally neutral. This gives us a peculiar way of relating to the good: instead of experiencing the ethical demand others place on us, it puts the value of things in our hands. It offers us the freedom of imposing on something that does not impose back. In these three ways, then, technology structurally changes our ethical relationship with and experience of the world.