Presenter Information

Wade Roberts, Juniata CollegeFollow

Keywords

Technocracy; Utopia; Value-pluralism

Subject Area

History/Anthropology/Philosophy

Start Date

2-3-2014 10:45 AM

End Date

2-3-2014 12:15 PM

Description/Abstract

In this essay I will examine technological utopias, in which scientists and technocratic experts wield the power of knowledge and planning in order to produce a harmonious social order in which conflict has been eliminated (examples are Bacon’s New Atlantis, as well as the various Enlightenment utopias of authors such as Condorcet). I argue that one of the central problems with technological utopias is that they transfer decision-making/organizational authority and power over to experts who implicitly presuppose a monistic and quasi-utilitarian conception of the good. Following Berlin, I contend that the irreconcilable conflict of certain core values inevitably undoes any attempt to definitively resolve social antagonisms using scientific/technological means.

Bio

Wade Roberts is an assistant professor in the philosophy department at Juniata College. His primary research interests are Continental and social/political philosophy.

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Mar 2nd, 10:45 AM Mar 2nd, 12:15 PM

Technocracy and Organization: Utopia and the Question of Value-Pluralism

In this essay I will examine technological utopias, in which scientists and technocratic experts wield the power of knowledge and planning in order to produce a harmonious social order in which conflict has been eliminated (examples are Bacon’s New Atlantis, as well as the various Enlightenment utopias of authors such as Condorcet). I argue that one of the central problems with technological utopias is that they transfer decision-making/organizational authority and power over to experts who implicitly presuppose a monistic and quasi-utilitarian conception of the good. Following Berlin, I contend that the irreconcilable conflict of certain core values inevitably undoes any attempt to definitively resolve social antagonisms using scientific/technological means.