A Prospective Framework for the Design of Ideal Artificial Moral Agents: Insights from the Science of Heroism in Humans

Minds and Machines 25 (1):57-71 (2015)

The growing field of machine morality has becoming increasingly concerned with how to develop artificial moral agents. However, there is little consensus on what constitutes an ideal moral agent let alone an artificial one. Leveraging a recent account of heroism in humans, the aim of this paper is to provide a prospective framework for conceptualizing, and in turn designing ideal artificial moral agents, namely those that would be considered heroic robots. First, an overview of what it means to be an artificial moral agent is provided. Then, an overview of a recent account of heroism that seeks to define the construct as the dynamic and interactive integration of character strengths and situational constraints that afford the opportunity for moral behavior . With this as a foundation, a discussion is provided for what it might mean for a robot to be an ideal moral agent by proposing a dynamic and interactive connectionist model of robotic heroism. Given the limited accounts of robots engaging in moral behavior, a case for extending robotic moral capacities beyond just being a moral agent to the level of heroism is supported by drawing from exemplar situations where robots demonstrate heroism in popular film and fiction
Keywords Machine morality  Moral agency  Heroism  Connectionism  Affordances  Character strengths
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11023-015-9361-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,483
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
On the Morality of Artificial Agents.Luciano Floridi & J. W. Sanders - 2004 - Minds and Machines 14 (3):349-379.
An Outline of a Theory of Affordances.Anthony Chemero - 2003 - Ecological Psychology 15 (2):181-195.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Explorative Nanophilosophy as Tecnoscienza: An Italian Perspective on the Role of Speculation in Nanoindustry.Steven Umbrello - 2019 - TECNOSCIENZA: Italian Journal of Science and Technology Studies 10 (1):71-88.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #298,385 of 2,286,543 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #250,515 of 2,286,543 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature