Volume 23, Issue 3, 2019
Social Robots, Emotions, and Social Cognition
Robotic Nudges for Moral Improvement through Stoic Practice
This article offers a theoretical framework that can be used to derive viable engineering strategies for the design and development of robots that can nudge people towards moral improvement. The framework relies on research in developmental psychology and insights from Stoic ethics. Stoicism recommends contemplative practices that over time help one develop dispositions to behave in ways that improve the functioning of mechanisms that are constitutive of moral cognition. Robots can nudge individuals towards these practices and can therefore help develop the dispositions to, for example, extend concern to others, avoid parochialism, etc.