In this paper, I’m interested in the question of how the digitization of society might change us and in how far and in what respects this change might affect our ideas of autonomy, agency, freedom. Also, I’m interested in the question of what the best way would be to discuss these problems philosophically, since different philosophical traditions have approached the general problem of the relation between humans and technology in very different ways. I will assume a general analytic-philosophical framework and focus on the problems of surveillance, the quantification of relations, and online manipulation in order to get a grip on my original question. I will also glance at some other philosophical traditions, as e.g. critical theory, which might help to understand certain specific problems of digitization (as for instance the commodification of our personal data). I will argue and try to show that the danger of digitization lies in undermining the social conditions we need in order to be able to develop autonomy and to value the ideas of freedom and equality.
Post-Kantian European Philosophy Seminar Convenors: Joseph Schear, Manuel Dries, and Mark Wrathall