Required Readings


Human Morality and the Problem of Intelligent Machines

  1. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction, ed. Curley pp. 3 – 5
  2. John Searle, Minds, Brains, and Programs, 3 The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 417  (1980).
  3. Ronald Arkin, Lethal Autonomous Systems and the Plight of the Non-Combatant,1 AISB Quarterly 137 (2013)
  4. Wendell Wallach, Colin Allen Framing Robot Arms Control, 15 Ethics and Information Technology 125      (2013)

The Law and Ethics of Autonomous Weapons Systems

  1. Kenneth Anderson & Matthew Waxman, Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapons Systems: Why a Ban Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can,Policy  Review (Excerpt, pp 8-18)
  2. Mary Ellen O’Connell, Banning Autonomous Killing-The Legal and Ethical Requirement That Humans Make Near-Time Lethal Decisions, in The American Way of Bombing Changing Ethical and Legal Norms from Flying Fortresses to Drones(Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue editors, 2014) (Excerpted) 
  3. Keith Abney, George Bekey, and Patrick Lin, Autonomous Military Robotics: Risk, Ethics, and Design, Cal Poly (2008) (Excerpt, pp 77-90)
  4. Michael W. Lewis, Legal Issues in the Development of Autonomous Weapons  Abstract | Paper
  5. U.S. Department of Defense Directive 3000.09 Autonomy in Weapon Systems (2012)
  6. Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (Article 1 par. 2, Article 36)
  7. Kevin H. Govern, Discriminant Actions Via (Semi-) Autonomous Weapons Systems: Matching Emergent Capabilities With Legal Prescriptions Abstract

The Rationality and Morality of Automaticity

  1. Duncan MacIntosh, Firing, Forgetting and How  Rule-of-Law Values Require Automation of the Rule of Law; A Defense of the  Use of Autonomous Weapons Systems in War and Peace Abstract | Paper
  2. Gregory Kavka, The Toxin  Puzzle, Analysis, Vol. 43, No.1 (1983), pp.33-36
  3. David Gauthier, Assure and Threaten, Ethics, Vol. 104, No.4 (1994), pp.690-721
  4. Claire Finkelstein,  Acting on an Intention, in REASON, INTENTION AND MORALITY (Gijs Van Donselaar & Bruno Verbeek eds., Ashgate Publishing, 2008) (Excerpt 67-77)
  5. Larry Alexander, The Doomsday Machine:Proportionality, Punishment and Prevention, 63.2 The Monist 199  (1980)

Should “Killer Robots” be Banned?

Uniquely Human? On Intuition, Mercy and Moral Decision Making

  1. M. L. Cummings, The Human Role in Autonomous Weapon Design and Deployment  Abstract | Paper
  2. Martha Nussbaum, Equity and Mercy, 22.2 Philosophy and Public Affairs 83 (1993) (Excerpt, pp 83-92)
  3. Human Rights Watch, Shaking The Foundations: The Human Rights Implications of Killer Robots      (Excerpt pp 5-16, 23-24)
  4. Matthias Scheutz & Bertram Malle, May Machines Take Lives to Save Lives? Human Perceptions of Autonomous Robots (with the Capacity to Kill)  Abstract | Paper

On the Concept of Meaningful Human Control

  1. Peter M. Asaro, Jus nascendi, Robotic Weapons & the Martens Clause  Abstract |  Paper
  2. Noel Sharkey, The Human Control of Weapons: a  humanitarian perspective (Draft of chapter to appear in “Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law, Ethics, Policy” edited by Nehal Bhuta, Susanne Beck, Robin Geiss, Claus Kress and Hin Yan Liu.) Abstract | Paper
  3. Peter Asaro, On Banning Autonomous Weapon Systems: Human Rights, Automation, and the      Dehumanization of Lethal Decision-Making, in Ethics of 21st Century Military Conflict Special Issue on New Technologies and Warfare, International Review of the Red Cross, 94 (886), Summer 2012, pp. 687-709.
  4. Shane Harris, Out of the Loop: The Human-free Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, in Harris, edited by Peter Berkowitz, Hoover Institution, 2012. (Excerpt, pp 1-5, 9-12)

Responsibility for Acts of Intelligent Machines

  1. Jens David Ohlin, Machine Liability & the Combatant’s Stance Abstract Paper
  2. Daniel Dennet, When HAL Kills, Who’s to Blame?, in Hal’s Legacy: 2001’s Computer as Dream and      Reality 351-365 (David Stork ed. 1997).
  3. Deborah G. Johnson, “Technology with No Human Responsibility?” J Bus Ethics (2014)