Can a Robot Pursue the Good?

Exploring Artificial Moral Agency


  • Amy Michelle DeBaets Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences



In this essay I will explore an understanding of the potential moral agency of robots, arguing that the key characteristics of physical embodiment, adaptive learning, empathy in action, and a teleology toward the good are the primary necessary components for a machine to become a moral agent. In this context, other possible options will be rejected as necessary for moral agency, including simplistic notions of intelligence, computational power, and rule-following, complete freedom, a sense of God, and an immaterial soul. I argue that it is likely that such moral machines may be able to be built, and that this does not diminish humanity or human personhood.




How to Cite

Can a Robot Pursue the Good? Exploring Artificial Moral Agency. (2014). Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 24(3), 76-86.

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