Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Philosophical Case for Robot Friendship

Here's another new paper of mine. This one makes the case for robot friends. This actually started life as one of my more popular blog posts. The paper is obviously more fully developed than the blog post. You can also listen to me give a short precis of the argument in the video above from about 20:48-31:00 (if you press play the video should start at the right time).

Full details of the paper and links to preprint versions are below.

Title: The Philosophical Case for Robot Friendship
Journal: The Journal of Posthuman Studies (forthcoming)
Links: Philpapers, Academia, Researchgate
Abstract: Friendship is an important part of the good life. While many roboticists are eager to create friend-like robots, many philosophers and ethicists are concerned. They argue that robots cannot really be our friends. Robots can only fake the emotional and behavioural cues we associate with friendship. Consequently, we should resist the drive to create robot friends. In this article, I argue that the philosophical critics are wrong. Using the classic virtue-ideal of friendship, I argue that robots can plausibly be considered our virtue friends - that to do so is philosophically reasonable. Furthermore, I argue that even if you do not think that robots can be our virtue friends, they can fulfil other important friendship roles, and can complement and enhance the virtue friendships between human beings. 

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