Institute of the Weltethos Foundation
at the University of Tübingen

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Aesthetics & AI – New Publications by Professor Dierksmeier

Our former institute director Claus Dierksmeier, who is professor for “Globalization Ethics with Special Consideration of the Global Ethic Idea” at the Tübingen Institute of Political Science, recently published two new essays. The focus of his work is globalization ethics with regard to its economic and political applications – including in the field of new technologies and artificial intelligence. His focus is on a secular justification of global ethics based on the idea of “qualitative freedom.”

The publications address these issues from very different perspectives, which do not reveal the global ethic connection at first glance, but very much so at second glance.

In one – an essay for Zaytuna College’s Renovatio Journal – Dierksmeier argues, with an eye to Western philosophical traditions, the extent to which the beautiful is indispensable to the common good. Although aesthetics, in the eyes of many, is something superficial and inessential, secondary to the supposedly more pressing and serious concerns of human behavior and coexistence in diversity, Dierksmeier seeks to shed light on why we-individuals, institutions, and society-continue to have good and strong reasons to engage with the beautiful. According to Professor Dierksmeier, aesthetic experience always contains a transcendental dimension that has given and continues to give rise to philosophical-theological reflections.

The second publication is an essay that will be published in the anthology “Kant and Artificial Intelligence” – also in English – by DeGruyter Verlag in May 2022. In “Partners, Not Parts. Enhanced Autonomy Through Artificial Intelligence? A Kantian Perspective,” the chair of globalization ethics aims to demonstrate the critical potential of Kant’s concept of autonomy-enhancing institutions. Central to these considerations is the idea that social institutions should treat individuals according to their personal autonomy, that is, that individuals should not be submerged as mere parts of a whole and disregarded in their moral constitution as ends in themselves. Rather, individuals should be integrated as members whose goals become co-constitutive for the respective organization. By evaluating two existing alghorithmic applications in the field of professional dating services, Dierksmeier shows that the Kantian perspective can provide a normative orientation here.