Title

Uncanny Ethics: Moral Implications of Contemporary "Unheimlichkeit”

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Abstract

This paper looks at the phenomenon of the uncanny (das Unheimliche) as a starting point for ethical reflection. Famously described by Ernst Jentsch and Sigmund Freud as a kind of fear experienced in the face of what is usually most comfortable and familiar, the uncanny is of particular interest now that scientific developments force us to question heretofore self-evident truths about “human nature.” The paper focuses on moral issues springing from contemporary experiences of the uncanny, specifically technological advances in robotics and recent discoveries in evolutionary biology and primatology.

Academic Division

Arts and Humanities

Disciplines

Philosophy

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