About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Article accepted by Ethics and Information Technology

Not sure at the moment about the timetable for publication, but I have an article about robot pets accepted by Ethics and Information Technology. This replies to an earlier article by Rob Sparrow, though my views have moved closer to Rob's as I've worked on this piece over time. Still, it was an opportunity to investigate larger issues about truth, intellectual honesty, and self-delusion that are often discussed here. I'm much more relaxed about robot dogs, and (for example) the possibility that we'll subconsciously think of them as real dogs, than Rob is. Still, I agree that there are dangers here, and I'm not necessarily opposed to the general drift of his ongoing critique of robotics. I was somewhat resistant at first, with my strong pro-technology bias (whereas Rob's bias is very much the other way), and he and I will probably still have arguments about it. But he's convinced me over time that the overall critique has merit.

I must send him the latest version - he made comments on an earlier version, and he'll be getting a thank you for them in the published article.


Mike said...

I have a problem with people who confuse their dogs with toys/robots.

Russell Blackford said...

Yeah, that's worse than the other way around.