ESEP 18:49-60 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00186

Can humanoid robots be moral?

Sanjit Chakraborty*

Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700032, India
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The concept of morality underpins the moral responsibility that not only depends on the outward practices (or ‘output’, in the case of humanoid robots) of the agents but on the internal attitudes (‘input’) that rational and responsible intentioned beings generate. The primary question that has initiated extensive debate, i.e. ‘Can humanoid robots be moral?’, stems from the normative outlook where morality includes human conscience and socio-linguistic background. This paper advances the thesis that the conceptions of morality and creativity interplay with linguistic human beings instead of non-linguistic humanoid robots, as humanoid robots are indeed docile automata that cannot be responsible for their actions. To eradicate human ethics in order to make way for humanoid robot ethics highlights the moral actions and adequacy that hinges the myth of creative agency and self-dependency, which a humanoid robot can scarcely express.


KEY WORDS: Humanoid robots · Morality · Responsibility · Docility · Artificial intelligence · Conscience · Consciousness


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Cite this article as: Chakraborty S (2018) Can humanoid robots be moral?. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 18:49-60. https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00186

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