Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 64, 2018

Philosophy of Technology

Wei Zhang
Pages 97-101

Can Morality be Materialized?

The idea of “materialization of morality” is now attracting increasing attention in the field of philosophy of technology. It bears great theoretical and practical meanings. In terms of theoretical aspect, it provides a “material answer” to the traditional ethical question “how to act” for the disciplines of ethics; for philosophy of technology, it transforms the externalist study approach to the internalist study approach. In terms of practical aspect, it provides a material way on disciplining human being’s actions. Furthermore, it expands the view of industrial design, adding the new dimension of morality into design activity. However, it also confronts several challenges. One is that, if the choices of human are decided by technology, then, where is the free will? In what sense can we still be human? Should we still be responsible for the bad results in some special situations? If so, how much responsibility should we take? The second is that it may lead to technocracy. Last but not lest, But if the designer becomes the leading character in “doing’’ ethics, then what can ethicists and philosophers do? What is their new role? So, new answers must be figured out to solve these questions. In this paper, I will introduce the principle or method of “libertarian paternalism” and “field philosophy” into this approach.