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Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


1.2 COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE, Computer Sciences, Information Science, Interdisciplinary, Ethics

Publication Details

EthiComp 2021, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain, June 30 – July 2, 2021


Philosophers are not generally credited with being clairvoyant, and yet because they recognise, record and reflect on trends in their society, their observations can often appear prescient. In the field of the ethics of technology, there is, perhaps, no philosopher whose perspective on these issues is worth examining in detail more than that of Hannah Arendt, who can offer real perspective on the challenges we are facing with technologies in the twenty-first century. Arendt, a thinker of Jewish-German origin, student of Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, encountered her life turning point when she was forced into becoming a refugee as the world was shaken by a force of unimaginable brutality that she was one of the first to name “totalitarianism” (Baerh, 2010). She was an independent thinker, separating herself from schools of thought or ideology. Investigating totalitarianism was her ruling passion, and as such her political thought often overshadows her major contribution to other branches of philosophy. Arendt is best known for her accounts of Adolf Eichmann and his trial, and the concept of “banality of evil”, though her perspective on politics was driven by a precise and original theory of action. While the latter is inextricably connected to her political perspective, it is also supported by a sharp ontological reflection of social structures and anthropological reflections.