Metaphysical Agency and Virtues in Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Activism (66416)

Session Information: Philosophy
Session Chair: Srecko Koralija

Monday, 3 April 2023 11:45
Session: Session 2
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Examining the role of conceptual engineering and conceptual activism to ameliorate normative concerns around AI design demonstrates the existence of metaphysical agency and the need for virtue metaphysics. Conceptual engineers and activists take seriously that concepts shape reality. Rather than taking the world as given, they use the practice and products of metaphysical theorizing to exercise metaphysical agency, with the world as a metaphysical patient that deserves consideration. Metaphysical agents exercise their agency in the metaphysical domain through their capacities to involve metaphysical principles, norms, and theories to reason, to make decisions, and to act to shape their metaphysical outlooks and reality. They are metaphysically responsible and accountable for exercising this agency well and succeed to varying degrees. On this sketch, metaphysical agency differs from moral and epistemic agency: it involves how theorizing metaphysically shapes our world. This is precisely the interest of conceptual engineers and activists. One might object that accounts of moral and epistemic agency suffice to describe the agency of conceptual engineers and activists. However, because conceptual engineers and activists design and deploy concepts that carve up the world, the mistakes they may make are different than those made by moral or epistemic agents. The performance of conceptual engineers and activists seeking to ameliorate normative problems matters to their success. Thus, we ought to have a theory of virtue metaphysics, to identify virtues of excellent metaphysical agents grounded in the good of making the world a better place.

Roxanne Kurtz, University of Illinois Springfield, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Roxanne Kurtz is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at University of Illinois Springfield in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00