Category Archives: Deontology and Moral Responsibility

Bert Huang, ‘Law’s Halo and the Moral Machine’

ABSTRACT How will we assess the morality of decisions made by artificial intelli­gence – and will our judgments be swayed by what the law says? Focusing on a moral dilemma in which a driverless car chooses to sacrifice its passenger to save more people, this study offers evidence that our moral intuitions can be influenced […]

Nicholas Hatzis, ‘Lying, Speech and Impersonal Harm’

ABSTRACT Should the law punish the mere utterance of lies even if the listener has not been deceived? Seana Shiffrin has recently answered this question in the affirmative, arguing that pure lying as such harms the moral fabric of sincerity and distorts the testimonial warrants which underpin communication. The article begins with a discussion of […]

Alistair Macleod, ‘Promises and Promissory Obligations [or When Is There No Obligation to Keep a Promise?]’

INTRODUCTION … I want in this paper to challenge this view by showing that the relationship between promises and the obligations they generate is not a conceptual or definitional relationship. In contrast, there is a logical gap between the making of a promise and the incurring of a promissory obligation. This is partly because the […]

‘I Pity The Fool: Ori Herstein’s Defense of the Klutz’

Ori J Herstein, Nobody’s Perfect: Moral Responsibility in Negligence, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, volume XXXII, no 1 (February 2019), pp 109-125. The sad story of Menlove, the defendant in the English case Vaughn v Menlove is well known to all first-year torts students. Menlove was born, according to his lawyer, with the ‘misfortune […]

Smith and Neznamov, ‘It’s Not the Robot’s Fault! Russian and American Perspectives on Responsibility for Robot Harms’

ABSTRACT As automated vehicles, personal robots, and other cyberphysical systems enter our world, law must confront important questions about civil liability for harms caused by these systems. Two legal scholars – one from Russia and one from the United States – come together to tackle these questions with an integrated approach that draws on the […]

Wilthagen and Schoots, ‘Building TrusTee: The World’s Most Trusted Robot’

ABSTRACT This essay explores the requirements for building trustworthy robots and artificial intelligence by drawing from various scientific disciplines and taking human values as the starting-point. It also presents a research and impact agenda. Wilthagen, Ton and Schoots, Marieke, Building TrusTee: The World’s Most Trusted Robot (November 14, 2019).

Tim Murphy, ‘Natural Law and Natural Justice: A Thomistic Perspective’

ABSTRACT This chapter offers Thomistic accounts of natural law and natural justice that differ in important respects from other accounts often associated with Aquinas. The discussion begins by considering Aristotle’s taxonomy of justice in the Nicomachean Ethics and adopted by Aquinas in the Summa Theologiae. This view of justice does not emphasise rules or norms […]

Law and Philosophy Special Issue: Seana Shiffrin’s ‘Speech Matters’

INTRODUCTION … Kate Greasley and Christopher Mills discuss Shiffrin’s account of lying and deception in Chapter One of Speech Matters. Prince Saprai explores the account of duress offered in Chapter Two. Eric Barendt critically discusses the thinker-based approach (Chapter Three) and situates it within broader debates in free speech theory. Leslie Kendrick engages with Shiffrin’s […]

‘Legal Theory Lexicon: Virtue Jurisprudence’

“Law students with a background in philosophy are sure to notice the strong influence of moral philosophy on legal thinking. Theories like Kant’s moral philosophy have had a profound influence on the idea of fairness and on the conception of rights that is at the heart of deontological legal theory. Utilitarianism and the law reform […]

Gerhard Wagner, ‘Robot, Inc: Personhood for Autonomous Systems?’

ABSTRACT Since the invention of the steam engine, technological progress has served as a driver of innovation for liability systems. Pertinent examples include the arrival of the railway and the introduction of motor-powered vehicles. Today, the digital revolution challenges established legal axioms more fundamentally than technological innovations from earlier times. The development of robots and […]