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The Digital Revolution

Department: Philosophy, Politics and Society
Coordinator: M. Stevens
Prerequisites and accessibility: https://www.ru.nl/courseguides/fftr/bachelor-pps/access-pps-courses-modules/
Period: Semester 2, period 3 and 4

In his seminal text “Do artifacts have politics?” (1980), the philosopher Langdon Winner argued that they certainly do. Not just because they carry risks to our health and security that demand foresight and regulation, but also because they play an important role in shaping our social and political reality, in enhancing the power of some at the expense of others, in driving wealth and its redistribution. While this has always been the case to some extent, the impact of digital technologies on our social, political and inner lives is increasingly contentious. Can democracy survive AI-produced images and content? Who is morally responsible when AI takes part in decision-making? What are we to do with the omnipresence of surveillance in our society and, hence, is privacy still relevant? What is technology and digital technology at all? And are the solutions to all societal woes hidden in it? While these questions may be novel to some extent, they are also a reformulation of key philosophical concerns around justice, power, human flourishing, autonomy, and moral responsibility. In this module students will be introduced to a new and burgeoning subdiscipline of philosophy – philosophy of technology – which will be helpful for addressing these questions and others raised by the increasing digitalization of society.

Period Course Course ID Credits
3 Introduction to the Philosophy of Technology FTR-FIPPSB213 5
3 & 4 Surveillance Society FTR-FIPPSB214 5
4 Ethics of Digitalization and AI FTR-FIPPSB224 5
Module Code: FTR-MI-FI112-19