Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology


published on February 12, 2014

Linda Johansson

The Pragmatic Robotic Agent

Can artifacts be agents in the same sense as humans? This paper endorses a pragmatic stance to that issue. The crucial question is whether artifacts can have free will in the same pragmatic sense as we consider humans to have a free will when holding them responsible for their actions. The origin of actions is important. Can an action originate inside an artifact, considering that it is, at least today, programmed by a human? In this paper it is argued that autonomy with respect to norms is crucial for artificial agency.