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Technology and the Moral Subject

Technology and the Moral Subject

(p.66) 4 Technology and the Moral Subject
Moralizing Technology
Peter-Paul Verbeek
University of Chicago Press

This chapter studies and discusses the works of Michel Foucault, especially his oeuvre that precisely embodies the tension that needs to be dealt with if one is to understand the technologically mediated moral subject. Foucault's early work focuses on the forces and structures that determine the subject or that produce specific subjects. Human intentions are not “authentic” but result from structures of power that can also be present materially; instead of being autonomous, human beings are heteronomous. The later Foucault, however, addressed the ways in which human beings can find a relation toward structures of power. In this perspective, he does not revoke his earlier analyses but investigates how, amid these structures of power, human beings can constitute themselves as moral subjects.

Keywords:   technologically mediated, moral subject, Michel Foucault, human intentions, structures of power, heteronomous

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