Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting

Technology And The Virtues

Source: Shannon Vallor

From the abstract of the book listed on the Oxford University Press Scholarship Online: "This book explores the implications of emerging technologies for the future of the human family, in particular our growing and urgent need for the global cultivation of technomoral virtue—specific qualities of character that humans need in order to live wisely and well with the uncertainty and complexity of a rapidly changing technosocial environment. Part I identifies global challenges for the human family presented by emerging technologies and the rapid cultural and institutional shifts they trigger, presenting the philosophical tradition of virtue ethics as the most promising practical resource for learning how to cope with, and even flourish in, our increasingly uncertain and risky technosocial condition. Part II finds guidance for this ambition in the classical virtue traditions of Aristotle, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which offer practical frameworks for the cultivation of virtue that resonate even across cultural and historical boundaries. Part II also explores the basic structure of this human practice and how it might be adapted for contemporary technosocial life, and concludes with an account of twelve technomoral virtues, the global cultivation of which represents humanity’s best and perhaps only chance of having a future worth wanting. Part III applies this account of technomoral virtue to four emerging technologies that are radically reshaping the human condition: new social media, digital surveillance, robotics, and biomedical enhancement. The risks and opportunities for human flourishing created by these technologies can only be managed by the wider cultivation of those virtues, which together constitute technomoral wisdom."

The section "Envisioning the Good Life in the 21st Century and Beyond (Introduction)" was required reading for Notre Dame's Ethical and Professional Issues course in the Computer Science and Engineering department.

Keywords: Computer Science , Philosophy , Tech Ethics , Virtue Ethics