Philosophy & Technology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 5–8 | Cite as

Introduction to the Special Issue on Machine Morality: The Machine as Moral Agent and Patient

  • David J. GunkelEmail author
  • Joanna Bryson


One of the enduring concerns of moral philosophy is deciding who or what is deserving of ethical consideration. This special issue of Philosophy and Technology investigates whether and to what extent machines, of various designs and configurations, can or should be considered moral subjects, defined here as either a moral agent, a moral patient, or both. The articles that comprise the issue were competitively selected from papers initially prepared for and presented at a symposium on this subject matter convened during the AISB/IACAP 2012 World Congress, held in at the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, UK.


Artificial intelligence Ethics Moral agency Moral patiency Roboethics 


  1. Birch, T. H. (1993). Moral considerability and universal consideration. Environmental Ethics, 15, 313–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Derrida, J. (2005). Paper machine. Trans. by R. Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Floridi, L. (2013). The ethics of information. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Leopold, A. (1966). A sand county almanac. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Levinas, E. (1969). Totality and infinity: an essay on exteriority. Translated by A. Lingis. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University.Google Scholar
  6. Moore, G. E. (2005). Principia ethica. New York: Barnes & Noble Books.Google Scholar
  7. Regan, T. (1983). The case for animal rights. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. (1963). The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  9. Singer, P. (1975). Animal liberation: a new ethics for our treatment of animals. New York: New York Review Book.Google Scholar
  10. Stone, C. D. (1974). Should trees have standing? Toward legal rights for natural objects. Los Alto, CA: William Kaufmann, Inc.Google Scholar
  11. Turing, A. M. (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind, 49, 433–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BathBathUK

Personalised recommendations