László Bernáth, ‘Can Autonomous Agents Without Phenomenal Consciousness Be Morally Responsible?’

It is an increasingly popular view among philosophers that moral responsibility can, in principle, be attributed to unconscious autonomous agents. This trend is already remarkable in itself, but it is even more interesting that most proponents of this view provide more or less the same argument to support their position. I argue that as it stands, the Extension Argument, as I call it, is not sufficient to establish the thesis that unconscious autonomous agents can be morally responsible. I attempt to show that the Extension Argument should overcome especially strong ethical considerations; moreover, its epistemological grounds are not too solid, partly because the justifications of its premises are in conflict.

László Bernáth, Can Autonomous Agents Without Phenomenal Consciousness Be Morally Responsible?, Philosophy and Technology, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-021-00462-7. Published: 11 July 2021.

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