ERIC Number: EJ874536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Individual Autonomy, Law, and Technology: Should Soft Determinism Guide Legal Analysis?
Cockfield, Arthur J.
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, v30 n1 p4-8 2010
How one thinks about the relationship between individual autonomy (sometimes referred to as individual willpower or human agency) and technology can influence the way legal thinkers develop policy at the intersection of law and technology. Perspectives that fall toward the "machines control us" end of the spectrum may support more interventionist legal policies while those who identify more closely with the "we are in charge of machines" position may refuse to interfere with technological developments. The concept of soft determinism charts a middle-ground between these two positions and could assist in the formulation of a general theory of the relationship between law and technology. Soft determinism maintains that technological developments are embedded in social, political, economic and other processes, and serve to guide and, potentially, configure future actions and relationships with these technologies, their users, and their subjects: while past technology develops shape the present, individuals and groups can still exert control over these technological developments. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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