Thomas M. Powers University of Delaware
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  • Faculty, University of Delaware
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1994.

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About me
I direct the Center for Science, Ethics, and Public Policy at the University of Delaware. I am also a faculty research fellow at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.
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17 items found.
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  1. Thomas M. Powers (2013). On the Moral Agency of Computers. Topoi 32 (2):227-236.
    Can computer systems ever be considered moral agents? This paper considers two factors that are explored in the recent philosophical literature. First, there are the important domains in which computers are allowed to act, made possible by their greater functional capacities. Second, there is the claim that these functional capacities appear to embody relevant human abilities, such as autonomy and responsibility. I argue that neither the first (Doman-Function) factor nor the second (Simulacrum) factor gets at the central issue in the (...)
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  2. Thomas M. Powers (2011). Incremental Machine Ethics. IEEE Robotics and Automation 18 (1):51-58.
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  3. Thomas M. Powers (2011). One Way to View the Puzzle of Machine Ethics is to Consider How. In M. Anderson S. Anderson (ed.), Machine Ethics. Cambridge Univ. Press. 464.
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  4. Deborah G. Johnson & Thomas M. Powers (2009). Ethics and Technology: A Program for Future Research. In M. Winston and R. Edelbach (ed.), Society, Ethics, and Technology, 4th edition.
    This chapter is reprinted from our lead essay in the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, ed. C. Mitcham, Gale, 2005.
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  5. Thomas M. Powers (2009). Machines and Moral Reasoning. Philosophy Now 72:15-16.
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  6. Thomas M. Powers (2009). Preface. In Jinfen Yan & David E. Schrader (eds.), Creating a Global Dialogue on Value Inquiry: Papers From the Xxii Congress of Philosophy (Rethinking Philosophy Today). Edwin Mellen Press.
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  7. Deborah G. Johnson & Thomas M. Powers (2008). Computers as Surrogate Agents. In M. J. van den Joven & J. Weckert (eds.), Information Technology and Moral Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 251.
  8. Thomas M. Powers (2008). Environmental Holism and Nanotechnology. In F. Allhoff & P. Lin (eds.), Nanotechnology and Society: Current and Emerging Ethical Issues. Springer.
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  9. Thomas M. Powers (2006). Prospects for a Kantian Machine. IEEE Intelligent Systems 21 (4):46-51.
    This paper is reprinted in the book Machine Ethics, eds. M. Anderson and S. Anderson, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
     
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  10. Deborah G. Johnson & Thomas M. Powers (2005). Computer Systems and Responsibility: A Normative Look at Technological Complexity. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 7 (2):99-107.
    In this paper, we focus attention on the role of computer system complexity in ascribing responsibility. We begin by introducing the notion of technological moral action (TMA). TMA is carried out by the combination of a computer system user, a system designer (developers, programmers, and testers), and a computer system (hardware and software). We discuss three sometimes overlapping types of responsibility: causal responsibility, moral responsibility, and role responsibility. Our analysis is informed by the well-known accounts provided by Hart and Hart (...)
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  11. Thomas M. Powers (2005). Deontological Machine Ethics. In M. Anderson, S. L. Anderson & C. Armen (eds.), Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Fall Symposium Technical Report.
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  12. Thomas M. Powers (2004). Ideas, Expressions, Universals, and Particulars: Metaphysics in the Realm of Software Copyright Law. In H. Tavani & R. Spinello (eds.), Intellectual Property Rights in a Networked World. Idea Group.
    in Intellectual Property Rights in a Networked World, eds. H. Tavani and R. Spinello, 2004.
     
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  13. Thomas M. Powers (2004). Real Wrongs in Virtual Communities. Ethics and Information Technology 5 (4):191-198.
    Beginning with the well-knowncyber-rape in LambdaMOO, I argue that it ispossible to have real moral wrongs in virtualcommunities. I then generalize the account toshow how it applies to interactions in gamingand discussion communities. My account issupported by a view of moral realism thatacknowledges entities like intentions andcausal properties of actions. Austin's speechact theory is used to show that real people canact in virtual communities in ways that bothestablish practices and moral expectations, andwarrant strong identifications betweenthemselves and their online identities. Rawls'conception (...)
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  14. Thomas M. Powers (2002). Responsibility in Software Engineering: Uncovering an Ethical Model. In T. W. Bynum I. Alvarez (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth International ETHICOMP Conference.
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  15. Thomas M. Powers (1999). The Integrity of Body: Kantian Moral Constraints on the Physical Self. Philosophy and Medicine 60 (3):209-232.
  16. Thomas M. Powers (1999). The Legacy of Kantian Rationalism for Social Theory. In TM Powers & P. Kamolnick (ed.), From Kant to Weber: Freedom and Culture in Classical German Social Theory.
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  17. Thomas M. Powers & Paul Kamolnick (eds.) (1999). From Kant to Weber: Freedom and Culture in Classical German Social Theory. Krieger.
    This collection of essays came from an NEH Summer Seminar in 1995 at the University of Chicago.
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