Wednesday, June 30, 2021

91 - Rights for Robots, Animals and Nature?

Should robots have rights? How about chimpanzees? Or rivers? Many people ask these questions individually, but few people have asked them all together at the same time. In this episode, I talk to a man who has. Josh Gellers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of North Florida, a Fulbright Scholar to Sri Lanka, a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project, and Core Team Member of the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment. His research focuses on environmental politics, rights, and technology. He is the author of The Global Emergence of Constitutional Environmental Rights (Routledge 2017) and Rights for Robots: Artificial Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law (Routledge 2020). We talk about the arguments and ideas in the latter book.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify and other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).

Show notes

Topics covered include:
  • Should we even be talking about robot rights?
  • What is a right? What's the difference between a legal and moral right?
  • How do we justify the ascription of rights?
  • What is personhood? Who counts as a person?
  • Properties versus relations - what matters more when it comes to moral status?
  • What can we learn from the animal rights case law?
  • What can we learn from the Rights of Nature debate?
  • Can we imagine a future in which robots have rights? What kinds of rights might those be?

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