Social robots and relational capacities

Fabio Tollon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper I argue that moral status should be grounded in whether an entity has “capacities for relations”. What this means is that in order to have moral status, the entity should be capable of engaging in meaningful relations with others. In order to defend this view, I first discuss social robots more generally. I then outline “attribution theory”, and how this gives rise to social-relational accounts of moral standing. While I think such accounts are on the right track, I believe that some capacities are still required. Drawing on communitarian ethics from an African perspective, I hope to provide some clarity on the potential for social robots to have moral status. Ultimately, I argue that, at present, such robots only have derived moral status.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Robots in Social Institutions
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of Robophilosophy 2022
EditorsRaul Hakli, Pekka Mäkelä, Johanna Seibt
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781643683751
ISBN (Print)9781643683744
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
EventRobophilosophy Conference 2022: Social Robots in Social Institutions - University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 16 Aug 202219 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)0922-6389
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8314


ConferenceRobophilosophy Conference 2022
Internet address


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