Can Autonomous Agents Without Phenomenal Consciousness Be Morally Responsible?

Philosophy and Technology 34 (4):1363-1382 (2021)
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Abstract

It is an increasingly popular view among philosophers that moral responsibility can, in principle, be attributed to unconscious autonomous agents. This trend is already remarkable in itself, but it is even more interesting that most proponents of this view provide more or less the same argument to support their position. I argue that as it stands, the Extension Argument, as I call it, is not sufficient to establish the thesis that unconscious autonomous agents can be morally responsible. I attempt to show that the Extension Argument should overcome especially strong ethical considerations; moreover, its epistemological grounds are not too solid, partly because the justifications of its premises are in conflict.

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Author's Profile

László Bernáth
Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences

References found in this work

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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