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Colloquium Talk: Professor David Gunkel

Event Type
Philosophy Department
Gregory Hall 336 and Zoom
Apr 26, 2024   3:00 - 5:00 pm  

Join the Department of Philosophy for a talk by Professor David Gunkel titled "Person, Thing, Robot: A Moral and Legal Ontology for the 21st Century and Beyond."

This will be a hybrid event. Please email for a Zoom link. 


Robots are a curious sort of thing. On the one hand, they are designed and manufactured technological artifacts. They are things. Yet, and on the other hand, these things are not quite like other things. They seem to have social presence. They are able to talk and interact with us. And many are designed to mimic or simulate the capabilities and behaviors that are commonly associated with human or animal intelligence. Robots therefore invite and encourage zoomorphism, anthropomorphism, and even personification. In his new book Person, Thing, Robot (MIT Press, 2023), David J. Gunkel sets out to answer the vexing question: What exactly is a robot? Rather than try to fit robots into the existing moral and legal categories by way of arguing for either their reification or personification, however, Gunkel argues for a revolutionary reformulation of the entire system, developing a new approach to technology ethics that can scale to the unique opportunities and challenges of the twenty-first century and beyond.   

link for robots only