Ethics and Information Technology 20 (2):87-99 (2018)

Authors
David Gunkel
Northern Illinois University
Abstract
This essay addresses the other side of the robot ethics debate, taking up and investigating the question “Can and should robots have rights?” The examination of this subject proceeds by way of three steps or movements. We begin by looking at and analyzing the form of the question itself. There is an important philosophical difference between the two modal verbs that organize the inquiry—can and should. This difference has considerable history behind it that influences what is asked about and how. Second, capitalizing on this verbal distinction, it is possible to identify four modalities concerning social robots and the question of rights. The second section will identify and critically assess these four modalities as they have been deployed and developed in the current literature. Finally, we will conclude by proposing another alternative, a way of thinking otherwise that effectively challenges the existing rules of the game and provides for other ways of theorizing moral standing that can scale to the unique challenges and opportunities that are confronted in the face of social robots.
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-017-9442-4
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References found in this work BETA

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.Nick Bostrom (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.

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Citations of this work BETA

Welcoming Robots Into the Moral Circle: A Defence of Ethical Behaviourism.John Danaher - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (4):2023-2049.
Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.Vincent C. Müller - 2020 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Palo Alto, Cal.: CSLI, Stanford University. pp. 1-70.

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