Artificial agents - personhood in law and philosophy


Thinking about how the law might decide whether to extend legal personhood to artificial agents provides a valuable testbed for philosophical theories of mind. Further, philosophical and legal theorising about personhood for artificial agents can be mutually informing. We investigate two case studies, drawing on legal discussions of the status of artificial agents. The first looks at the doctrinal difficulties presented by the contracts entered into by artificial agents. We conclude that it is not necessary or desirable to postulate artificial agents as legal persons in order to account for such contracts. The second looks at the potential for according sophisticated artificial agents with legal personality with attendant constitutional protections similar to those accorded to humans. We investigate the validity of attributes that have been suggested as pointers of personhood, and conclude that they will take their place within a broader matrix of pragmatic, philosophical and extra-legal concepts.



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Author's Profile

Samir Chopra
Brooklyn College (CUNY)

References found in this work

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