About this book
This volume offers eleven philosophical investigations into our future relations with social robots--robots that are specially designed to engage and connect with human beings. The contributors present cutting edge research that examines whether, and on which terms, robots can become members of human societies. Can our relations to robots be said to be "social"? Can robots enter into normative relationships with human beings? How will human social relations change when we interact with robots at work and at home?The authors of this volume explore these questions from the perspective of philosophy, cognitive science, psychology, and robotics. The first three chapters offer a taxonomy for the classification of simulated social interactions, investigate whether human social interactions with robots can be genuine, and discuss the significance of social relations for the formation of human individuality. Subsequent chapters clarify whether robots could be said to actually follow social norms, whether they could live up to the social meaning of care in caregiving professions, and how we will need to program robots so that they can negotiate the conventions of human social space and collaborate with humans. Can we perform joint actions with robots, where both sides need to honour commitments, and how will such new commitments and practices change our regional cultures? The authors connect research in social robotics and empirical studies in Human-Robot Interaction to recent debates in social ontology, social cognition, as well as ethics and philosophy of technology.The book is a response to the challenge that social robotics presents for our traditional conceptions of social interaction, which presuppose such essential capacities as consciousness, intentionality, agency, and normative understanding. The authors develop insightful answers along new interdisciplinary pathways in "robophilosophy," a new research area that will help us to shape the "robot revolution," the distinctive technological change of the beginning 21st century.