Philosophy, Technology, and the Future of Humanity
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This research-intensive university in north-western Sydney offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. With over 30,000 current students, Macquarie has a strong reputation for welcoming international students and embracing flexible and convenient study options, including its partnership with Open Universities Australia.
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On successful completion of this subject, you will be able to
- explain the major theories about the philosophical and ethical issues raised by new forms of technology
- analyse arguments in the relevant literatures.
- evaluate relevant theories and arguments critically
- communicate clearly your own perspective on the views and arguments presented in the unit.
- A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:
Pre-requisite 40cp at 1000 level or above NCCW (pre-2020 units) PHIL202 NCCW (2020 and onwards) PHIL2020 Philosophy, Technology, and the Future of Humanity
No additional requirements
We live an increasing part of our lives online, playing videogames, and engaging with various technologies and virtual realities. Our workplaces are more automated, cars drive themselves, and robots take care of us. Is this a good thing? What is it doing to us? Where will it take us in the future? In this unit we draw on philosophical and ethical theories to explore the impacts of information and related technologies on humanity. Topics we will explore include issues around human-technology relations, such as: technological neutrality and technological determinism; embodiment, gender, and technology; and the co-evolution of mind and technology. We will examine ethical aspects of technology, such as: the impacts that online sharing has on our philosophical understandings of friendship; the right to internet privacy; how theories in moral psychology explain the ethical impacts of playing videogames; the ethics of self-driving cars and robotic care-workers; and the justice implications of the automatisation of work. Finally, we also look at topics surrounding the intertwining of humanity and technology and the future impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI), such as: whether AI and the singularity is an existential risk to humanity; how technology will be used as a tool of human enhancement; and whether we will (and should) become cyborgs and stop being human.
- Weekly reflective blog (20%)
- Participation in online seminars and/or forums (20%)
- Weekly Quiz (25%)
- Research essay (35%)
Bachelor of Arts
- Major in English
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- Major in Applied Ethics