Informatics, TU Vienna

The poetics and grammar of innovation: Humans and non-humans in process and meaning

Talk by Prof. Mark Coeckelbergh from the University of Vienna.


In thinking about technological innovation we usually separate humans and non-humans, science and society, technical design and meaning.
Drawing on my recent article in AI & Society and on related work on Wittgenstein, this talks offers two conceptual tools to bridge these gaps: one based on the concept of poiesis, another on a Wittgensteinian notion of grammar. Then I discusses some similarities and differences of this view in comparison to that of Bruno Latour, and invite participants in the discussion to reflect on what the implications could be for ethics assessment and responsible innovation. I argue that we must continue to do ethics of technology, but that our possibilities for fundamental change are rather limited. 


Mark Coeckelbergh is Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology at the Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna, Austria and
part-time Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University,
UK. In June 2017 he will take up the role of the president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology (currently he is Vice-President).

Previously he was co-Chair of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Technical Committee on Robot Ethics, was involved in European research
projects in the areas of robotics and responsible innovation and was Managing Director of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. His
publications include New Romantic Cyborgs (MIT 2017), Money Machines (Ashgate 2015), Environmental Skill (Routledge 2015), Human Being @ Risk (Springer 2013), Growing Moral Relations (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), and numerous articles in the area of philosophy of technology, in particular ethics of robotics and ICT. He also has research interests in moral philosophy, environmental philosophy and ethics of finance.

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Everyone is welcome and invited to attend the seminar.