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Philosophies, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2019) – 5 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Rituals and Machines: A Confucian Response to Technology-Driven Moral Deskilling
Philosophies 2019, 4(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4040059 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1511
Abstract
Robots and other smart machines are increasingly interwoven into the social fabric of our society, with the area and scope of their application continuing to expand. As we become accustomed to interacting through and with robots, we also begin to supplement or replace [...] Read more.
Robots and other smart machines are increasingly interwoven into the social fabric of our society, with the area and scope of their application continuing to expand. As we become accustomed to interacting through and with robots, we also begin to supplement or replace existing human–human interactions with human–machine interactions. This article aims to discuss the impacts of the shift from human–human interactions to human–machine interactions in one facet of our self-constitution, i.e., morality. More specifically, it sets out to explore whether and how the shift to human–machine interactions can affect our moral cultivation. I shall structure the article around what Shannon Vallor calls technology-driven moral deskilling, i.e., the phenomenon of technology negatively affecting individual moral cultivation, and shall also attempt to offer a Confucian response to the problem. I first elaborate in detail Vallor’s idea of technology-driven moral deskilling. Next, I discuss three paradigms of virtue acquisition identified by Nancy E. Snow, i.e., the “folk” paradigm, the skill-and-expertise paradigm, and the Confucian paradigm, and show how the Confucian paradigm can help us to respond to technology-driven moral deskilling. Finally, I introduce the idea of Confucian rituals (li) and argue for the ritualizing of machines as an answer to technology-driven moral deskilling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy and the Ethics of Technology)
Open AccessArticle
Responsibility and Robot Ethics: A Critical Overview
Philosophies 2019, 4(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4040058 - 08 Nov 2019
Viewed by 989
Abstract
This paper has three concerns: first, it represents an etymological and genealogical study of the phenomenon of responsibility. Secondly, it gives an overview of the three fields of robot ethics as a philosophical discipline and discusses the fundamental questions that arise within these [...] Read more.
This paper has three concerns: first, it represents an etymological and genealogical study of the phenomenon of responsibility. Secondly, it gives an overview of the three fields of robot ethics as a philosophical discipline and discusses the fundamental questions that arise within these three fields. Thirdly, it will be explained how in these three fields of robot ethics is spoken about responsibility and how responsibility is attributed in general. As a philosophical paper, it presents a theoretical approach and no practical suggestions are made as to which robots should bear responsibility under which circumstances or how guidelines should be formulated in which a responsible use of robots is outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy and the Ethics of Technology)
Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to Philosophical Issues in Sport Science
Philosophies 2019, 4(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4040057 - 08 Nov 2019
Viewed by 862
Abstract
The role and value of science within sport increases with ever greater professionalization and commercialization. Scientific and technological innovations are devised to increase performance, ensure greater accuracy of measurement and officiating, reduce risks of harm, enhance spectatorship and raise revenues. However, such innovations [...] Read more.
The role and value of science within sport increases with ever greater professionalization and commercialization. Scientific and technological innovations are devised to increase performance, ensure greater accuracy of measurement and officiating, reduce risks of harm, enhance spectatorship and raise revenues. However, such innovations inevitably come up against epistemological and metaphysical problems related to the nature of sport and physical competition. This special issue identifies and explores key and contemporary philosophical issues in relation to the science of sport and exercise. The opening four chapters focus on the nature of scientific evidence, and causation in sport; the middle four chapters on the influence of science and technology and its relationship to sport officiating; whilst the final three chapters consider the way in which science affects the construction of sport. It brings together scholars working on philosophical problems in sport to examine issues related to the values and assumptions behind sport and exercise science, key problems that result, and provide recommendations for improving its practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophical Issues in Sport Science) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
It’s about Time: Film, Video Games, and the Advancement of an Artform
Philosophies 2019, 4(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4040056 - 31 Oct 2019
Viewed by 917
Abstract
Jon Robson and Aaron Meskin have argued that the insights obtained through the philosophical analysis of video games is not specific to video games, but to a larger class of artistic creations they term Self-Involving Interactive Fictions, or SIIFs. But there is at [...] Read more.
Jon Robson and Aaron Meskin have argued that the insights obtained through the philosophical analysis of video games is not specific to video games, but to a larger class of artistic creations they term Self-Involving Interactive Fictions, or SIIFs. But there is at least one aspect of SIIF video games that is philosophically interesting and does not apply to the class of SIIFs as a whole, the ability to represent non-classical time. If SIIF video games are considered to be an extension of the art form of graphic narrative story-telling, the art form dominated by film, then the ability to represent time in in this fashion represents a revolution akin to that of vanishing point perspective in painting. This makes SIIF video games philosophically interesting for both philosophers of film and philosophers of video games. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophies of Time, Media and Contemporaneity)
Open AccessArticle
Reappraising Braid after a Quantum Theory of Time
Philosophies 2019, 4(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4040055 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Braid’s (Jonathan Blow, 2008) time-bending gameplay allows players to engage with a virtual world in which a player’s perceived ‘past’ can be endlessly rewritten, duration extended, and the ludic arrow of time can be reversed. One could assume that as mistakes can [...] Read more.
Braid’s (Jonathan Blow, 2008) time-bending gameplay allows players to engage with a virtual world in which a player’s perceived ‘past’ can be endlessly rewritten, duration extended, and the ludic arrow of time can be reversed. One could assume that as mistakes can simply be undone, in-game actions cease to have consequences. However, the climax of the game’s narrative arc disrupts our assumption of control over these mechanics and encourages players to reflect on the possible moral implications of actions, both in context of the game world and—through careful invocation of real-world scientific experiments—on everyday life. In this paper, I propose that Braid uses gameplay to explore the difficulty of making moral judgements in a world without an objective past. This is, for the most part, achieved through Braid’s utilization of a specific interpretation of quantum theory—in accordance with the game’s lead designer, Jonathan Blow—that “starts to threaten our very existence” by questioning the possibility of a singular, objective, real ‘past’ and the possibility of a definitive account of past actions. I first argue that the game’s mechanics immerse players in a game world inspired by Blow’s understanding of quantum mechanics. Placing an emphasis on certain technical aspects, I outline how the functioning of the game’s central rewind mechanic—although initially seeming to reinforce visions of our reality consistent with C.D. Broad’s ‘growing block’ theory—questions the notion of an objective past and so resonates strongly with both the work of J.A. Wheeler and an agential realist theory of time. With this understanding in place, I go on to analyze the climax of the game, reading it as an exploration of—and challenge to—the role of a presumed objective ‘past’ in understanding the morality of a given situation. Finally, through a reading of the game’s closing moments, I suggest Braid promotes a turn to individual responsibility for agency; Braid, I argue, recommends one accept the continuing existence and changeability of the past within the present while embracing one’s own role in the shared process of constantly remaking reality and history. As a result, well-intentioned actions in the present are framed as more important than a focus on precedent to predict outcomes, making a cautious suggestion on how one might live without reference to an objective existence. Although I highlight some of the wider ramifications of this at the end of this paper, Braid is far from a fully developed ethical system; it stands, however, as an engaging attempt to formulate a comment on time, temporality and morality through interactive media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophies of Time, Media and Contemporaneity)
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