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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2022

9 Partners, Not Parts. Enhanced Autonomy Through Artificial Intelligence? A Kantian Perspective

From the book Kant and Artificial Intelligence

  • Claus Dierksmeier


While providing an extensive legal and moral philosophy, Kant never worked out his social philosophy in great depths. Gleaning cues from how, in the Critique of Judgment, he employed organic notions analogically in regard to societal institutions, one can, however, arrive at a reasonably clear conception of the normative contours for social organizations within the overall framework of his practical philosophy. Central to these reflections is the notion that social institutions should treat individuals in accord with their personal autonomy. Individuals must not be submerged as mere parts in a whole which disregards their moral nature as ends-in-themselves but should rather be integrated as members whose purposes become co-constitutive for the respective organization. The self-same notion of a societal organization respectful of and conducive to the purposes of its members can offer guidance when it comes to evaluate recent technological advances in the field of artificial intelligence, namely virtual organizations whose social functions are executed by algorithms unconstrained by local contexts or geographical confines. This article aims to showcase the critical potential of a Kantian concept of autonomy-enhancing institutions by discussing how it provides normative orientation for assessing two extant applications in the field of professional matchmaking.

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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