Sorgner on Freedom, Violence, and Privacy
In We Have Always Been Cyborgs, Stefan Lorenz Sorgner presents an entire philosophical system, blending Nietzschean scepticism with the transhumanist impulse to embrace technology. He integrates ideas that range from fundamental issues in epistemology, metaphysics, and metaethics to specific recommendations for new European institutions. Much of this is attractive and impressive, and Sorgner’s growing body of work makes an important contribution to debates over regulatory policy arising from new technologies such as digital surveillance, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and techniques for genome editing. At the same time, there is room for concern at Sorgner’s use of a cluster of ideas related to the politics of emerging technologies. Sorgner usefully invokes the concept of negative freedom, but this alone cannot settle the boundaries of freedom in a liberal democratic society. He appears to embrace an expansive concept of violence and is quick to find violent elements in ideas and opinions that he rejects. Again, he appears to underestimate and understate the importance of privacy. These criticisms are cautionary rather than definitive, and they may not provide adequate grounds to reject any of Sorgner’s policy recommendations. Nonetheless, the analysis suggests a need for further philosophical work on key concepts in the politics of emerging technologies.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Russel Blackford, "Sorgner on Freedom, Violence, and Privacy" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2023) XXV/1", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2023, pp. 295-317
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