In this essay I will examine technological utopias, in which scientists and technocratic experts wield the power of knowledge and planning in order to produce a harmonious social order in which conflict has been eliminated (examples are Bacon’s New Atlantis, as well as the various Enlightenment utopias of authors such as Condorcet). I argue that one of the central problems with technological utopias is that they transfer decision-making/organizational authority and power over to experts who implicitly presuppose a monistic and quasi-utilitarian conception of the good. Following Berlin, I contend that the irreconcilable conflict of certain core values inevitably undoes any attempt to definitively resolve social antagonisms using scientific/technological means.
History, Anthropology, & Philosophy
- Event date
2 March 2014
- Date submitted
18 July 2022
- Additional information
Wade Roberts is an assistant professor in the philosophy department at Juniata College. His primary research interests are Continental and social/political philosophy.