Are Aristotelian Friendships Possible Between Humans and Robots?

Published by , February 27, 2017 12:47 pm

(IEEE) Humans can form powerful emotional attachments to non-living objects, particularly objects that resemble other humans. As we now enter the era of social robotics, we can expect the opportunities for forming such relationships to grow. Soon, we will all be having relationships with robots. The question is what kinds of relationships can we have with them and is this a good or bad thing?
Dr. John Danaher, currently a lecturer in law at NUI Galway (Ireland), has particular interests in human enhancement and neuroethics. He has written an extensive examination of future friendships between humans and robots. He believes Aristotelian friendships are the best and thus concentrates his analysis on the Aristotelian friendships between humans and robots. In his conclusion, he states that robots might be able to attain the Aristotelian ideal if they are performatively equivalent to human friends. And even if they can’t, there is reason to suspect that they could complement or promote Aristotelian friendships amongst humans, not corrode or undermine them.

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