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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 10, 2008

Ethics

Lorenzo Magnani
Pages 289-294

Knowledge as Duty
Technological Artifacts as Moral Carriers and Mediators

This paper aims at presenting a concise treatment of some key themes of my recent book Morality in a technological world. Knowledge as duty (Cambridge: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). In recent times, non-human beings, objects, and structures – for example computational tools and devices - have acquired new moral worth and intrinsic values. Kantian tradition in ethics teaches that human beings do not have to be treated solely as “means”, or as “things”, that is in a merely instrumental way, but also have to be treated as “ends”'. I contend that human beings can be treated as “things” in the sense that they have to be “respected” as things are sometimes. To the aim of reconfiguring human dignity in our technological world I introduce the concept of moral mediator.

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