A Friendly Critique of Levinasian Machine Ethics


Appeared In: The Southern Journal of Philosophy

Publication Date: March 1, 2022

In this article, Gamez provides a sympathetic critique of a particular orientation or approach in machine ethics, namely, “Levinasian” machine ethics. The author is sympathetic insofar as Levinasian machine ethics articulates what he calls a “normativity-first” approach to ethics and uses the particularly striking case of robots, or artificial agents, to illustrate it. However, the particular way in which Levinasians like David Gunkel articulate a normativity-first ethics is, Gamez thinks, misguided. In order to be successful, such an ethics would need to be made more Levinasian, but doing so would lead to an ethical theory with undesirable consequences in the context of digital and surveillance capitalism. Gamez concludes by suggesting that the aims of Levinasian machine ethics might be better served by an ethics of design oriented toward transforming our shared forms of moral life.

Gamez, Patrick. "A Friendly Critique of Levinasian Machine Ethics." The Southern Journal of Philosophy 60, no. 1 (2022): 118-149. DOI: 10.1111/sjp.12455

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