Which way down the slippery slope: Arkangel or Digital Pacifier?

Lorraine K. C. Yeung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The Black Mirror episode “Arkangel” tells a disturbing story of over-parenting driven by technology. The single mother Marie’s adoption of the Arkangel system has invited overwhelmingly negative moral evaluation from philosophers. But what accounts for the moral failure of a loving and concerned parent? Is it all about her flawed character, or are there situational factors at work? In the article, I first foreground the slipperiness of technology implicated in Albert Borgmann’s notion of the “device paradigm” and Hans Jonas’s analysis of modern technology. Then I analyze the character of the Arkangel system in the light of the two philosophers’ works and show how the technology turns Marie into a failing parent. In the end, I offer tentative answers to the two questions; the answers shall also shed light on the problem of under-parenting driven by digital technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalFilm and Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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