Intentionality but Not Consciousness: Reconsidering Robot Love

  • Viktor KewenigEmail author


Robots already assist humans in a wide spectrum of domains. As technology evolves, social interaction with robots will become more frequent and propagate into the most private social spheres. In his seminal book “Love and Sex with Robots”, Levy (Love and sex with robots. New York, NY: Harper; 2007) sets out his reasons for being optimistic about this development. His thought-provoking arguments have been opposed on feminist and ethical grounds. Feminists argue that sex robots reinforce gender inequalities. Ethical concerns centre around the outside and the inside of robots. First, it is argued that human autonomy is violated in human–robot relationships because robots cannot be part of reciprocal loving relationships. Second, it is worried that we will enter a “Slavery 2.0” if we program conscious beings according to our needs and preferences. I argue that with a certain conceptual understanding of the mind, these objections can be met. There will certainly be good reasons for resisting my arguments; thus the main point of this paper is to point out the importance of conceptual assumptions for ethical arguments over emerging technologies.


Sex robots Ethics Philosophy of mind David levy 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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