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Little Platoons v Big Data: agonistic pluralism, law and conservatism in Hildebrandt’s Smart Technologies and Oakeshott’s On Human Conduct

Little Platoons v Big Data: agonistic pluralism, law and conservatism in Hildebrandt’s Smart Technologies and Oakeshott’s On Human Conduct
Little Platoons v Big Data: agonistic pluralism, law and conservatism in Hildebrandt’s Smart Technologies and Oakeshott’s On Human Conduct
Mireille Hildebrandt’s Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law (2015) is an extraordinary piece of work, looking back to the co-evolution of law, the state and the technology of the printing press, and forward to the contribution that smart technologies of machine learning, big data, artificial agents and pre-emptive environments will make to our society and the threats they make to us individuals (the onlife world). Smart Technologies presents history at an inflection point, where technology has the capacity to introduce a step-change in our relations with our selves, our fellows and our society. Hildebrandt defends our plural society with an agonistic reading, resisting the Rawlsian project of developing consensus, and instead suggesting a Mouffe-like position of accepting, even welcoming conflict. Yet the focus on forthcoming change implies that a more interesting philosophical lens would be conservatism, the ideology that problematizes and examines social change. And indeed, reading Smart Technologies through conservative spectacles results in many insights into the politics of technology, conservatism and Hildebrandt’s work as well. In its scope, scale and ambition, Smart Technologies brings Michael Oakeshott’s masterwork On Human Conduct (1975) to mind, and in many ways updates that statement of liberal conservatism for the 21st century. Both books focus on human decision-making and action at the individual level, the use and purpose of law for constraining action, and the role of the law and the state for creating the circumstances for autonomous, authentic, free individuals to flourish. Oakeshott’s themes of human behaviour and civil association, and modernity’s challenges to individuality, are replicated and extended in Hildebrandt’s work.
smart technologies, internet of things, agency, practice, conservatism, social machines, law, privacy, data protection, big data
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4

O'Hara, Kieron (2016) Little Platoons v Big Data: agonistic pluralism, law and conservatism in Hildebrandt’s Smart Technologies and Oakeshott’s On Human Conduct. Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) 2016, Brussels, Belgium. 27 - 29 Jan 2016. 17 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

Mireille Hildebrandt’s Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law (2015) is an extraordinary piece of work, looking back to the co-evolution of law, the state and the technology of the printing press, and forward to the contribution that smart technologies of machine learning, big data, artificial agents and pre-emptive environments will make to our society and the threats they make to us individuals (the onlife world). Smart Technologies presents history at an inflection point, where technology has the capacity to introduce a step-change in our relations with our selves, our fellows and our society. Hildebrandt defends our plural society with an agonistic reading, resisting the Rawlsian project of developing consensus, and instead suggesting a Mouffe-like position of accepting, even welcoming conflict. Yet the focus on forthcoming change implies that a more interesting philosophical lens would be conservatism, the ideology that problematizes and examines social change. And indeed, reading Smart Technologies through conservative spectacles results in many insights into the politics of technology, conservatism and Hildebrandt’s work as well. In its scope, scale and ambition, Smart Technologies brings Michael Oakeshott’s masterwork On Human Conduct (1975) to mind, and in many ways updates that statement of liberal conservatism for the 21st century. Both books focus on human decision-making and action at the individual level, the use and purpose of law for constraining action, and the role of the law and the state for creating the circumstances for autonomous, authentic, free individuals to flourish. Oakeshott’s themes of human behaviour and civil association, and modernity’s challenges to individuality, are replicated and extended in Hildebrandt’s work.

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More information

Published date: January 2016
Venue - Dates: Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) 2016, Brussels, Belgium, 2016-01-27 - 2016-01-29
Keywords: smart technologies, internet of things, agency, practice, conservatism, social machines, law, privacy, data protection, big data
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 389508
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/389508
PURE UUID: b4b11db4-bf52-4ec6-b073-90d25bc4da6a
ORCID for Kieron O'Hara: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9051-4456

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Mar 2016 15:12
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 07:14

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