The Externalization of Decision-Making Processes in the Postindustrial Society. Vilém Flusser and the Functionary within the Apparatus
- Vilém Flusser,
How to Cite
The aim of this paper is to read the increasingly invasive and transformative presence (on a social and individual level) of artificial intelligence and algorithms in decision-making processes in the light of the concept of apparatus as developed by the Czech philosopher Vilém Flusser (1920-1991). This article has a dual nature, historical and theoretical. On one hand, it offers a contribution to the reconstruction of the concept of apparatus by considering some of Flusser’s most popular works, Pós-História (1983), Für eine Philosophie der Fotografie (1983), and Ins Universum der technischen Bilder (1985). On the other hand, it proposes to use Flusser’s categories to interpret some emerging phenomena of postindustrial society as forms of externalization of decision-making processes. The latter entails an increasing deresponsibilization of moral agents and is a phenomenon that, on the anthropological level, can be framed by resorting to the notion of “functionary.” Still, according to Flusser, free and existentially meaningful decision-making is possible even in the world of apparatuses, given the specifically human capacity of abstraction.