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  1.  14
    Algorithmic Accountability and Public Reason.Reuben Binns - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):543-556.
    The ever-increasing application of algorithms to decision-making in a range of social contexts has prompted demands for algorithmic accountability. Accountable decision-makers must provide their decision-subjects with justifications for their automated system’s outputs, but what kinds of broader principles should we expect such justifications to appeal to? Drawing from political philosophy, I present an account of algorithmic accountability in terms of the democratic ideal of ‘public reason’. I argue that situating demands for algorithmic accountability within this justificatory framework enables us to (...)
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  2.  4
    Appraising Black-Boxed Technology: The Positive Prospects.E. S. Dahl - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):571-591.
    One staple of living in our information society is having access to the web. Web-connected devices interpret our queries and retrieve information from the web in response. Today’s web devices even purport to answer our queries directly without requiring us to comb through search results in order to find the information we want. How do we know whether a web device is trustworthy? One way to know is to learn why the device is trustworthy by inspecting its inner workings, 156–170 (...)
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  3. Toward an Ethics of AI Assistants: An Initial Framework.John Danaher - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):629-653.
    Personal AI assistants are now nearly ubiquitous. Every leading smartphone operating system comes with a personal AI assistant that promises to help you with basic cognitive tasks: searching, planning, messaging, scheduling and so on. Usage of such devices is effectively a form of algorithmic outsourcing: getting a smart algorithm to do something on your behalf. Many have expressed concerns about this algorithmic outsourcing. They claim that it is dehumanising, leads to cognitive degeneration, and robs us of our freedom and autonomy. (...)
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  4.  33
    Algorithmic Decision-Making Based on Machine Learning From Big Data: Can Transparency Restore Accountability?Paul B. De Laat - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):525-541.
    Decision-making assisted by algorithms developed by machine learning is increasingly determining our lives. Unfortunately, full opacity about the process is the norm. Would transparency contribute to restoring accountability for such systems as is often maintained? Several objections to full transparency are examined: the loss of privacy when datasets become public, the perverse effects of disclosure of the very algorithms themselves, the potential loss of companies’ competitive edge, and the limited gains in answerability to be expected since sophisticated algorithms usually are (...)
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  5. Algorithmic Decision-Making Based on Machine Learning From Big Data: Can Transparency Restore Accountability?Massimo Durante & Marcello D'Agostino - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):525-541.
    Decision-making assisted by algorithms developed by machine learning is increasingly determining our lives. Unfortunately, full opacity about the process is the norm. Would transparency contribute to restoring accountability for such systems as is often maintained? Several objections to full transparency are examined: the loss of privacy when datasets become public, the perverse effects of disclosure of the very algorithms themselves, the potential loss of companies’ competitive edge, and the limited gains in answerability to be expected since sophisticated algorithms usually are (...)
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  6.  11
    Introduction: The Governance of Algorithms.Marcello D’Agostino & Massimo Durante - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):499-505.
    In our information societies, tasks and decisions are increasingly outsourced to automated systems, machines, and artificial agents that mediate human relationships, by taking decisions and acting on the basis of algorithms. This raises a critical issue: how are algorithmic procedures and applications to be appraised and governed? This question needs to be investigated, if one wishes to avoid the traps of ICTs ending up in isolating humans behind their screens and digital delegates, or harnessing them in a passive role, by (...)
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  7.  14
    Semantic Capital: Its Nature, Value, and Curation.Luciano Floridi - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):481-497.
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  8.  7
    Ethics and Artificial Intelligence: Suicide Prevention on Facebook.Norberto Nuno Gomes de Andrade, Dave Pawson, Dan Muriello, Lizzy Donahue & Jennifer Guadagno - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):669-684.
    There is a death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15–29-year-olds. Experts say that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is for those in distress to hear from people who care about them. Facebook is in a unique position—through its support for networks and friendships on the site—to help connect a person in these difficult situations with people who can support them. Connecting people with the resources (...)
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  9.  22
    Forecasting in Light of Big Data.Hykel Hosni & Angelo Vulpiani - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):557-569.
    Predicting the future state of a system has always been a natural motivation for science and practical applications. Such a topic, beyond its obvious technical and societal relevance, is also interesting from a conceptual point of view. This owes to the fact that forecasting lends itself to two equally radical, yet opposite methodologies. A reductionist one, based on first principles, and the naïve-inductivist one, based only on data. This latter view has recently gained some attention in response to the availability (...)
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  10.  29
    Fair, Transparent, and Accountable Algorithmic Decision-Making Processes.Bruno Lepri, Nuria Oliver, Emmanuel Letouzé, Alex Pentland & Patrick Vinck - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):611-627.
    The combination of increased availability of large amounts of fine-grained human behavioral data and advances in machine learning is presiding over a growing reliance on algorithms to address complex societal problems. Algorithmic decision-making processes might lead to more objective and thus potentially fairer decisions than those made by humans who may be influenced by greed, prejudice, fatigue, or hunger. However, algorithmic decision-making has been criticized for its potential to enhance discrimination, information and power asymmetry, and opacity. In this paper, we (...)
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  11.  5
    From Impact to Importance: The Current State of the Wisdom-of-Crowds Justification of Link-Based Ranking Algorithms.George Masterton & Erik J. Olsson - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):593-609.
    In a legendary technical report, the Google founders sketched a wisdom-of-crowds justification for PageRank arguing that the algorithm, by aggregating incoming links to webpages in a sophisticated way, tracks importance on the web. On this reading of the report, webpages that have a high impact as measured by PageRank are supposed to be important webpages in a sense of importance that is not reducible to mere impact or popularity. In this paper, we look at the state of the art regarding (...)
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  12.  6
    Algo-Rhythms and the Beat of the Legal Drum.Ugo Pagallo - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):507-524.
    The paper focuses on concerns and legal challenges brought on by the use of algorithms. A particular class of algorithms that augment or replace analysis and decision-making by humans, i.e. data analytics and machine learning, is under scrutiny. Taking into account Balkin’s work on “the laws of an algorithmic society”, attention is drawn to obligations of transparency, matters of due process, and accountability. This US-centric analysis on drawbacks and loopholes of current legal systems is complemented with the analysis of norms (...)
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  13.  1
    Digital Technologies, Ethical Questions, and the Need of an Informational Framework.Federica Russo - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):655-667.
    Technologies have always been bearers of profound changes in science, society, and any other aspect of life. The latest technological revolution—the digital revolution—is no exception in this respect. This paper presents the revolution brought about by digital technologies through the lenses of a specific approach: the philosophy of information. It is argued that the adoption of an informational approach helps avoiding utopian or dystopian approaches to technology, both expressions of technological determinism. Such an approach provides a conceptual framework able to (...)
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  14.  4
    Democratizing Health Research Through Data Cooperatives.Alessandro Blasimme, Effy Vayena & Ernst Hafen - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):473-479.
    Massive amounts of data are collected and stored on a routine basis in virtually all domains of human activities. Such data are potentially useful to biomedicine. Yet, access to data for research purposes is hindered by the fact that different kinds of individual-patient data reside in disparate, unlinked silos. We propose that data cooperatives can promote much needed data aggregation and consequently accelerate research and its clinical translation. Data cooperatives enable direct control over personal data, as well as more democratic (...)
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  15.  7
    Why the World Needs an International Cyberwar Convention.Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):379-407.
    States’ capacity for using modern information and communication technology to inflict grave harm on enemies has been amply demonstrated in recent years, with many countries reporting large-scale cyberattacks against their military defense systems, water supply, and other critical infrastructure. Currently, no agreed-upon international rules or norms exist to govern international conflict in cyberspace. Many governments prefer to keep it that way. They argue that difficulties of verifiability and challenges posed by rapid technological change rule out agreement on an international cyber (...)
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  16.  46
    Just War, Cyber War, and the Concept of Violence.Christopher Finlay - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):357-377.
    Recent debate on the relationship between cyber threats, on the one hand, and both strategy and ethics on the other focus on the extent to which ‘cyber war’ is possible, both as a conceptual question and an empirical one. Whether it can is an important question for just war theorists. From this perspective, it is necessary to evaluate cyber measures both as a means of responding to threats and as a possible just cause for using armed kinetic force. In this (...)
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  17.  12
    Artificial Intelligence, Deepfakes and a Future of Ectypes.Luciano Floridi - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):317-321.
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  18.  4
    Deterrence in Cyberspace: A Silver Bullet or a Sacred Cow?Ewan Lawson - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):431-436.
    This commentary briefly reviews the challenges associated with the concept of cyber deterrence. It considers the concept of deterrence more broadly before identifying the specific issues that make both deterrence by denial and by punishment particularly difficult in cyberspace. However, overall, it argues that the concept is valid and indeed essential in contributing to delivering strategic stability.
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  19.  6
    Warfighting for Cyber Deterrence: A Strategic and Moral Imperative.David Lonsdale - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):409-429.
    Theories of cyber deterrence are developing rapidly. However, the literature is missing an important ingredient—warfighting for deterrence. This controversial idea, most commonly associated with nuclear strategy during the later stages of the Cold War, affords a number of advantages. It provides enhanced credibility for deterrence, offers means to deal with deterrence failure, improves compliance with the requirements of just war and ultimately ensures that strategy continues to function in the post-deterrence environment. This paper assesses whether a warfighting for deterrence approach (...)
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  20.  2
    Towards a Sedimentology of Information Infrastructures: A Geological Approach for Understanding the City.Vlad Niculescu-Dincă - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):455-472.
    Drawing primarily on ethnographic research performed in a city in Romania, this paper provides a thick description of police practices and information systems in that municipality. It shows various ways in which technologies mediate policing practitioners’ perceptions, decisions and actions. Bringing some additional material from a case in the Dutch police in which they build risk profiles predicated on real-time data from a sensor network, the paper highlights new phenomena with ethical implications emerging at the intersection of information infrastructures and (...)
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  21.  6
    Is Proprietary Software Unjust? Examining the Ethical Foundations of Free Software.Jesse Rappaport - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):437-453.
    “Free software” is software that respects the users’ freedoms by granting them access to the source code, and allowing them to modify and redistribute the software at will. Richard Stallman, founder of the Free software movement, has argued that creating and distributing non-Free software is always a moral injustice. In this essay, I try to identify the ethical foundations of Stallmanism. I identify three major trends in Stallman’s thinking—libertarian, utilitarian, and communitarian—and I argue that none is sufficient to justify the (...)
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  22.  12
    Five Kinds of Cyber Deterrence.N. Ryan - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):331-338.
    There were five kinds of cyber deterrence presented at the workshop on Landscaping strategic cyber deterrence, hosted at the Oxford Internet Institute. They were the well-studied areas of deterrence by ‘punishment’ and ‘denial’, and the novel concepts of deterrence by ‘association’, ‘norms and taboos’, and finally, ‘entanglement’. In the following workshop commentary, I present these five kinds of deterrence and explain them in light of recent developments in the academy and industry. I argue for analytical congruence between all three novel (...)
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  23.  6
    The Limits of Deterrence Theory in Cyberspace.Mariarosaria Taddeo - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):339-355.
    In this article, I analyse deterrence theory and argue that its applicability to cyberspace is limited and that these limits are not trivial. They are the consequence of fundamental differences between deterrence theory and the nature of cyber conflicts and cyberspace. The goals of this analysis are to identify the limits of deterrence theory in cyberspace, clear the ground of inadequate approaches to cyber deterrence, and define the conceptual space for a domain-specific theory of cyber deterrence, still to be developed.
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  24.  1
    Deterrence and Norms to Foster Stability in Cyberspace.Mariarosaria Taddeo - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (3):323-329.
    Deterrence in cyberspace is possible. But it requires an effort to develop a new domain-specific, conceptual, normative, and strategic framework. To be successful, cyber deterrence needs to shift from threatening to prevailing. I argue that by itself, deterrence is insufficient to ensure stability of cyberspace. An international regime of norms regulating state behaviour in cyberspace is necessary to complement cyber deterrence strategies and foster stability. Enforcing this regime requires an authority able to ensure States compliance with the norms at an (...)
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  25. The Biopolitical Public Domain: The Legal Construction of the Surveillance Economy.Julie Cohen - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):213-233.
    Within the political economy of informational capitalism, commercial surveillance practices are tools for resource extraction. That process requires an enabling legal construct, which this essay identifies and explores. Contemporary practices of personal information processing constitute a new type of public domain—a repository of raw materials that are there for the taking and that are framed as inputs to particular types of productive activity. As a legal construct, the biopolitical public domain shapes practices of appropriation and use of personal information in (...)
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  26.  5
    Yesterday’s Virtue Ethicists Meet Tomorrow’s High Tech: A Critical Response to Technology and the Virtues by Shannon Vallor.Howard Curzer - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):283-292.
    Vallor lists and describes seven complex features of moral self-cultivation shared by Aristotelian, Confucian, and Buddhist traditions, a dozen virtues which technology renders particularly important, and seven threats to these virtues. Responding to one of Vallor’s challenges, I offer eight ways in which these virtues must be transformed in light of our technology. Finally, I list four further challenges to virtue ethics posed by technology.
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  27.  7
    The Biopolitical Public Domain: The Legal Construction of the Surveillance Economy.Julie E. Cohen - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):213-233.
    Within the political economy of informational capitalism, commercial surveillance practices are tools for resource extraction. That process requires an enabling legal construct, which this essay identifies and explores. Contemporary practices of personal information processing constitute a new type of public domain—a repository of raw materials that are there for the taking and that are framed as inputs to particular types of productive activity. As a legal construct, the biopolitical public domain shapes practices of appropriation and use of personal information in (...)
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  28.  12
    Soft Ethics: Its Application to the General Data Protection Regulation and Its Dual Advantage.Luciano Floridi - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):163-167.
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  29.  23
    The Artificial Moral Advisor. The “Ideal Observer” Meets Artificial Intelligence.Alberto Giubilini & Julian Savulescu - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):169-188.
    We describe a form of moral artificial intelligence that could be used to improve human moral decision-making. We call it the “artificial moral advisor”. The AMA would implement a quasi-relativistic version of the “ideal observer” famously described by Roderick Firth. We describe similarities and differences between the AMA and Firth’s ideal observer. Like Firth’s ideal observer, the AMA is disinterested, dispassionate, and consistent in its judgments. Unlike Firth’s observer, the AMA is non-absolutist, because it would take into account the human (...)
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  30.  7
    Making Data Valuable: Political, Economic, and Conceptual Bases of Big Data.Anna Hoffmann - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):209-212.
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  31.  3
    Technomoral Civic Virtues: A Critical Appreciation of Shannon Vallor’s Technology and the Virtues.Don Howard - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):293-304.
    This paper begins by summarizing the chief, original contributions to technology ethics in Shannon Vallor’s recent book, Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting, highlighting especially the book’s distinctive inclusion of not only the western virtue ethics tradition but also the analogous traditions in Buddhist and Confucian ethics. But the main point of the paper is to suggest that the theoretical framework developed in the book be extended to include an analysis of the distinctive civic (...)
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  32.  14
    Self-Tracking Practices and Digital Productive Labour.Karen Dewart McEwen - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):235-251.
    Self-tracking practices include the use of personal data-gathering apps, wearable devices, and data analysis tools to record patterns from daily activities, as well as the organization, visualization, and analysis of this data. This paper draws on theories of digital labour and feminist political economy to build a framework of digital productive labour that highlights the exploitation of activities external to the formal labour relationship. Self-tracking practices are analysed through the lens of digital productive insofar as they fulfill three roles: they (...)
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  33.  8
    Data Science as Machinic Neoplatonism.Dan McQuillan - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):253-272.
    Data science is not simply a method but an organising idea. Commitment to the new paradigm overrides concerns caused by collateral damage, and only a counterculture can constitute an effective critique. Understanding data science requires an appreciation of what algorithms actually do; in particular, how machine learning learns. The resulting ‘insight through opacity’ drives the observable problems of algorithmic discrimination and the evasion of due process. But attempts to stem the tide have not grasped the nature of data science as (...)
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  34.  6
    Finding a Place for Buddhism in the Ethics of the Future: Comments on Shannon Vallor’s Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting.Emily McRae - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):277-282.
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  35.  1
    Guest Editor Introduction to the Book Symposium on Shannon Vallor, Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.Diane Michelfelder - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):273-275.
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  36.  5
    Essentialism, Vitalism, and the GMO Debate.Veronika Szántó - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):189-208.
    There has been a long-standing opposition to genetically modified organisms worldwide. Some studies have tried to identify the deep-lying philosophical, conceptual as well as psychological motivations for this opposition. Philosophical essentialism, psychological essentialism, and vitalism have been proposed as possible candidates. I approach the plausibility of the claim that these notions are related to GMO opposition from a historical perspective. Vitalism and philosophical essentialism have been associated with anti-GMO stance on account of their purported hostility to species and organismic mutability. (...)
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  37.  13
    Technology and the Virtues: A Response to My Critics.Shannon Vallor - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (2):305-316.
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  38.  22
    Association of Internet Researchers Roundtable Summary: Artificial Intelligence and the Good Society Workshop Proceedings.Corinne Cath, Michael Zimmer, Stine Lomborg & Ben Zevenbergen - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):155-162.
    This article is based on a roundtable held at the Association of Internet Researchers annual conference in 2017, in Tartu, Estonia. The roundtable was organized by the Oxford Internet Institute’s Digital Ethics Lab. It was entitled “Artificial Intelligence and the Good Society”. It brought together four scholars—Michael Zimmer, Stine Lomborg, Ben Zevenbergen, and Corinne Cath—to discuss the promises and perils of artificial intelligence, in particular what ethical frameworks are needed to guide AI’s rapid development and increased use in societies. The (...)
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  39.  7
    Towards a Philosophy of Financial Technologies.Mark Coeckelbergh, Quinn DuPont & Wessel Reijers - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):9-14.
    This special issue introduces the study of financial technologies and finance to the field of philosophy of technology, bringing together two different fields that have not traditionally been in dialogue. The included articles are: Digital Art as ‘Monetised Graphics’: Enforcing Intellectual Property on the Blockchain, by Martin Zeilinger; Fundamentals of Algorithmic Markets: Liquidity, Contingency, and the Incomputability of Exchange, by Laura Lotti; ‘Crises of Modernity’ Discourses and the Rise of Financial Technologies in a Contested Mechanized World, by Marinus Ossewaarde; Two (...)
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  40.  12
    Soft Ethics and the Governance of the Digital.Luciano Floridi - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):1-8.
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  41.  12
    Proofs as Cognitive or Computational: Ibn Sı̄nā’s Innovations.Wilfrid Hodges - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):131-153.
    We record the advances made by the eleventh century Persian logician Ibn Sina—known in the West as Avicenna—away from a purely cognitive view of proofs and towards a more computational view, and the kinds of consideration that led him to these advances. Some of Ibn Sina’s new logics, which stand somewhere between Aristotle’s categorical syllogisms and modern first-order logic, can serve as a kind of laboratory for testing what are the differences between Aristotelian and modern logic, and where these differences (...)
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  42.  9
    Fundamentals of Algorithmic Markets: Liquidity, Contingency, and the Incomputability of Exchange.Laura Lotti - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):43-58.
    In light of the structural role of computational technology in the expansion of modern global finance, this essay investigates the ontology of contemporary markets starting from a reformulation of liquidity—one of the tenets of financial trading. Focusing on the nexus between financial and algorithmic flows, the paper complements contemporary philosophies of the market with insights into recent theories of computation, emphasizing the functional role of contingency, both for market trading and algorithmic processes. Considering the increasing adoption of advanced computational methods (...)
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  43.  4
    ‘Crises of Modernity’ Discourses and the Rise of Financial Technologies in a Contested Mechanized World.Marinus Ossewaarde - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):59-76.
    The aim of this article is to provide a discussion of scholarly ‘crisis of modernity’ discourses that have developed in the field of social philosophy. Re-visiting past and present discourses can be illuminating in at least three ways: it can reveal the broader picture of the present financialized and technologized world and the rise of financial technologies; it can provide scholars with new vocabularies, concepts, and metaphors to comprehend present-day phenomena and developments; and it can reveal the variety of commitments (...)
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  44.  6
    The Blockchain as a Narrative Technology: Investigating the Social Ontology and Normative Configurations of Cryptocurrencies.Wessel Reijers & Mark Coeckelbergh - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):103-130.
    In this paper, we engage in a philosophical investigation of how blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrencies can mediate our social world. Emerging blockchain-based decentralised applications have the potential to transform our financial system, our bureaucracies and models of governance. We construct an ontological framework of “narrative technologies” that allows us to show how these technologies, like texts, can configure our social reality. Drawing from the work of Ricoeur and responding to the works of Searle, in postphenomenology and STS, we show (...)
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  45.  25
    Two Technical Images: Blockchain and High-Frequency Trading.Diego Viana - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology (1):77-102.
    The article examines two digital phenomena linked to money and finance, which are the bitcoin and high-frequency trading, through the lens of Vilém Flusser’s concept of technical image. Flusser’s theory highlights three aspects of technical images: they are engendered by the act of organizing particles, are produced by people who operate devices through keys, and are mediated by code, which is linear and pertains to the era of written text, which Flusser conflates with the notion of history. In this article, (...)
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  46.  14
    Appreciation Through Use: How Industrial Technology Articulates an Ecology of Values Around Norwegian Seaweed.Sophia Efstathiou & Bjørn K. Myskja - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology:1-20.
    This paper offers a moral history of the industrialisation of seaweed harvesting in Norway. Industrialisation is often seen as degrading natural resources. Ironically, we argue, it is precisely the scale and scope of industrial utilisation that may enable non-instrumental valuations of natural resources. We use the history of the Norwegian seaweed industry to make this point. Seaweed became increasingly interesting to harvest as a fruit and then as a crop of the sea in the early twentieth century following biochemical applications (...)
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