Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 26, Issue 1, 2022

John Danaher
Pages 31-56

Technological Change and Human Obsolescence
An Axiological Analysis

Can human life have value in a world in which humans are rendered obsolete by technological advances? This article answers this question by developing an extended analysis of the axiological impact of human obsolescence. In doing so, it makes four main arguments. First, it argues that human obsolescence is a complex phenomenon that can take on at least four distinct forms. Second, it argues that one of these forms of obsolescence (‘actual-general’ obsolescence) is not a coherent concept and hence not a plausible threat to human well-being. Third, it argues that existing fears of technologically-induced human obsolescence are less compelling than they first appear. Fourth, it argues that there are two reasons for embracing a world of widespread, technologically-induced human obsolescence.