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Automation: Between Factuality and Normativity

Abstract : Moral or ethical decisions must be made, it seems, by subjects, characterized by their intentionality and, in particular, their autonomy. Thus, delegating them to an automated apparatus would involve either eliminating their moral dimension, or at least limiting it to the morality of its original designer. Such a classical conception hinges on strictly non-dialectical notions of factuality and normativity that often go unquestioned in philosophy of ethics and technology. The claim in this chapter, inspired by Hegel’s and Habermas’s social philosophy, is that the delegation of a moral or ethical decision to an automaton may indeed be considered a dispossession, yet also, under certain circumstances, be the very condition of its effectivity. Indeed, to be normatively satisfactory, concrete interactions imply a motivational, cognitive and organizational load that the subjects involved must bear: without being mediated by factuality, such as the collective power that is being cast in institutional or technical systems – algorithms for instance – these normative demands would remain ineffective. This chapter uses the case of Wikipedia and peer-to-peer file exchange communities, to back its claim and help shift the debate about the morality of “decision-making” machines toward the question of the different forms of delegation to automata.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 10:22:35 AM
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Marc-Antoine Pencolé. Automation: Between Factuality and Normativity. Susanna Lindberg; Hanna-Riika Roine. The Ethos of Digital Environments: Technology, Literary Theory and Philosophy, Routledge, pp.151-160, 2021, 9780367643270. ⟨10.4324/9781003123996⟩. ⟨hal-03670665⟩

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