Virtual Alterity and the Reformatting of Ethics

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 18 (3-4):173-193 (2003)
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This article seeks to reconsider how traditional notions of ethics-ethics that privilege reason, truth, meaning, and a fixed conception of "the human"-are upended by digital technology, cybernetics, and virtual reality. We argue that prevailing ethical systems are incompatible with the way technology refigures the concepts and practices of identity, meaning, truth, and finally, communication. The article examines how both ethics and technology repurpose the liberal humanist subject even as they render such a subject untenable. Such an impasse reformats the question of ethics by introducing questions of radical alterity, making it possible for new ethical systems to emerge.



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David Gunkel
Northern Illinois University

Citations of this work

Interactivity and prioritizing the human: A code of blogging ethics.Martin Kuhn - 2007 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 22 (1):18 – 36.

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References found in this work

A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia.Gilles Deleuze - 1987 - London: Athlone Press. Edited by Félix Guattari.
Computing machinery and intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.
Critique of Practical Reason.Immanuel Kant (ed.) - 1788 - New York,: Hackett Publishing Company.
Totality and infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh,: Duquesne University Press.

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