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Conative Dimensions of Machine Ethics: A Defense of Duty

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1 Author(s)
Marcello Guarini ; Dept. of Philos., Univ. of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

Immanuel Kant is one of the giants of moral theorizing in the western philosophical tradition. He developed a view of moral imperatives and duty that continues to inspire thought up to the present. In a thought-provoking series of papers, Anthony Beavers argues that Kant's conception of morality will not be applicable to machines. In other words, it will turn out that when we design machines at a level of sophistication such that ethical constraints must be built into their behavior, Kant's understanding of morality will not be helpful. Specifically, the notion of duty as involving some sort of internal conflict can be jettisoned. The argument in this paper is that there are aspects of duty that can be preserved for machine ethics. The goal will not be to defend any of the details of Kant's position. Rather, it is to motivate some ways of thinking about duty that may be useful for machine ethics.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )