Philosophy & Technology

http://link.springer.com/journal/13347

List of Papers (Total 100)

Why Separation Logic Works

One might poetically muse that computers have the essence both of logic and machines. Through the case of the history of Separation Logic, we explore how this assertion is more than idle poetry. Separation Logic works because it merges the software engineer’s conceptual model of a program’s manipulation of computer memory with the logical model that interprets what sentences in...

Technological Environmentality: Conceptualizing Technology as a Mediating Milieu

After several technological revolutions in which technologies became ever more present in our daily lives, the digital technologies that are currently being developed are actually fading away from sight. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are not only embedded in devices that we explicitly “use” but increasingly become an intrinsic part of the material environment...

Doing Things with Thoughts: Brain-Computer Interfaces and Disembodied Agency

Connecting human minds to various technological devices and applications through brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) affords intriguingly novel ways for humans to engage and interact with the world. Not only do BCIs play an important role in restorative medicine, they are also increasingly used outside of medical or therapeutic contexts (e.g., gaming or mental state monitoring). A...

Migration and Cooperative Infrastructures

A proper understanding of the moral and political significance of migration requires a focus on global inequalities. More specifically, it requires a focus on those global inequalities that affect people’s ability to participate in the production of economic goods and non-economic goods (e.g., relationships of intimacy and care, opportunities for self-expression, well-functioning...

Just War, Cyber War, and the Concept of Violence

Recent debate on the relationship between cyber threats, on the one hand, and both strategy and ethics on the other focus on the extent to which ‘cyber war’ is possible, both as a conceptual question and an empirical one. Whether it can is an important question for just war theorists. From this perspective, it is necessary to evaluate cyber measures both as a means of responding...

Towards a Sedimentology of Information Infrastructures: a Geological Approach for Understanding the City

Drawing primarily on ethnographic research performed in a city in Romania, this paper provides a thick description of police practices and information systems in that municipality. It shows various ways in which technologies mediate policing practitioners’ perceptions, decisions and actions. Bringing some additional material from a case in the Dutch police in which they build...

The Artificial Moral Advisor. The “Ideal Observer” Meets Artificial Intelligence

We describe a form of moral artificial intelligence that could be used to improve human moral decision-making. We call it the “artificial moral advisor” (AMA). The AMA would implement a quasi-relativistic version of the “ideal observer” famously described by Roderick Firth. We describe similarities and differences between the AMA and Firth’s ideal observer. Like Firth’s ideal...

What the Jeweller’s Hand Tells the Jeweller’s Brain: Tool Use, Creativity and Embodied Cognition

The notion that human activity can be characterised in terms of dynamic systems is a well-established alternative to motor schema approaches. Key to a dynamic systems approach is the idea that a system seeks to achieve stable states in the face of perturbation. While such an approach can apply to physical activity, it can be challenging to accept that dynamic systems also...

Algorithmic Decision-Making Based on Machine Learning from Big Data: Can Transparency Restore Accountability?

Decision-making assisted by algorithms developed by machine learning is increasingly determining our lives. Unfortunately, full opacity about the process is the norm. Would transparency contribute to restoring accountability for such systems as is often maintained? Several objections to full transparency are examined: the loss of privacy when datasets become public, the perverse...

The Limits of Deterrence Theory in Cyberspace

In this article, I analyse deterrence theory and argue that its applicability to cyberspace is limited and that these limits are not trivial. They are the consequence of fundamental differences between deterrence theory and the nature of cyber conflicts and cyberspace. The goals of this analysis are to identify the limits of deterrence theory in cyberspace, clear the ground of...

Accessing Online Data for Youth Mental Health Research: Meeting the Ethical Challenges

This article addresses the general ethical issues of accessing online personal data for research purposes. The authors discuss the practical aspects of online research with a specific case study that illustrates the ethical challenges encountered when accessing data from Kooth, an online youth web-counselling service. This paper firstly highlights the relevance of a process-based...

Big Data Analytics, Infectious Diseases and Associated Ethical Impacts

The exponential accumulation, processing and accrual of big data in healthcare are only possible through an equally rapidly evolving field of big data analytics. The latter offers the capacity to rationalize, understand and use big data to serve many different purposes, from improved services modelling to prediction of treatment outcomes, to greater patient and disease...

Data Science as Machinic Neoplatonism

Data science is not simply a method but an organising idea. Commitment to the new paradigm overrides concerns caused by collateral damage, and only a counterculture can constitute an effective critique. Understanding data science requires an appreciation of what algorithms actually do; in particular, how machine learning learns. The resulting ‘insight through opacity’ drives the...

From Impact to Importance: The Current State of the Wisdom-of-Crowds Justification of Link-Based Ranking Algorithms

In a legendary technical report, the Google founders sketched a wisdom-of-crowds justification for PageRank arguing that the algorithm, by aggregating incoming links to webpages in a sophisticated way, tracks importance (quality, relevance, etc.) on the web. On this reading of the report, webpages that have a high impact as measured by PageRank are supposed to be important...

Why the World Needs an International Cyberwar Convention

States’ capacity for using modern information and communication technology to inflict grave harm on enemies has been amply demonstrated in recent years, with many countries reporting large-scale cyberattacks against their military defense systems, water supply, and other critical infrastructure. Currently, no agreed-upon international rules or norms exist to govern international...

‘My Fitbit Thinks I Can Do Better!’ Do Health Promoting Wearable Technologies Support Personal Autonomy?

This paper critically examines the extent to which health promoting wearable technologies can provide people with greater autonomy over their health. These devices are frequently presented as a means of expanding the possibilities people have for making healthier decisions and living healthier lives. We accept that by collecting, monitoring, analysing and displaying biomedical...

Algorithmic Accountability and Public Reason

The ever-increasing application of algorithms to decision-making in a range of social contexts has prompted demands for algorithmic accountability. Accountable decision-makers must provide their decision-subjects with justifications for their automated system’s outputs, but what kinds of broader principles should we expect such justifications to appeal to? Drawing from political...

Towards a Qualitative Assessment of Energy Practices: Illich and Borgmann on Energy in Society

Energy consumption is central to both a number of pressing environmental issues and to people’s attempts to improve their well-being. Although typically understood as essential for people to thrive, this paper sketches a theoretical foundation for the possibility that the form and amount of energy consumption in modern society may inhibit rather than enable human flourishing. It...

The Argument Web: an Online Ecosystem of Tools, Systems and Services for Argumentation

The Argument Web is maturing as both a platform built upon a synthesis of many contemporary theories of argumentation in philosophy and also as an ecosystem in which various applications and application components are contributed by different research groups around the world. It already hosts the largest publicly accessible corpora of argumentation and has the largest number of...