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Derek Leben
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
  1. A Rawlsian Algorithm for Autonomous Vehicles.Derek Leben - 2017 - Ethics and Information Technology 19 (2):107-115.
    Autonomous vehicles must be programmed with procedures for dealing with trolley-style dilemmas where actions result in harm to either pedestrians or passengers. This paper outlines a Rawlsian algorithm as an alternative to the Utilitarian solution. The algorithm will gather the vehicle’s estimation of probability of survival for each person in each action, then calculate which action a self-interested person would agree to if he or she were in an original bargaining position of fairness. I will employ Rawls’ assumption that the (...)
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  2.  4
    Ethics for Robots: How to Design a Moral Algorithm.Derek Leben - 2018 - Routledge.
    Ethics for Robots describes and defends a method for designing and evaluating ethics algorithms for autonomous machines, such as self-driving cars and search and rescue drones. Derek Leben argues that such algorithms should be evaluated by how effectively they accomplish the problem of cooperation among self-interested organisms, and therefore, rather than simulating the psychological systems that have evolved to solve this problem, engineers should be tackling the problem itself, taking relevant lessons from our moral psychology. Leben draws on the moral (...)
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  3.  8
    When Psychology Undermines Beliefs.Derek Leben - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (3):328-350.
  4.  50
    When Psychology Undermines Beliefs.Derek Leben - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology (3):1-23.
    This paper attempts to specify the conditions under which a psychological explanation can undermine or debunk a set of beliefs. The focus will be on moral and religious beliefs, where a growing debate has emerged about the epistemic implications of cognitive science. Recent proposals by Joshua Greene and Paul Bloom will be taken as paradigmatic attempts to undermine beliefs with psychology. I will argue that a belief p may be undermined whenever: (i) p is evidentially based on an intuition which (...)
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    Pushing the Intuitions Behind Moral Internalism.Derek Leben & Kristine Wilckens - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (4):510-528.
    Moral Internalism proposes a necessary link between judging that an action is right/wrong and being motivated to perform/avoid that action. Internalism is central to many arguments within ethics, including the claim that moral judgments are not beliefs, and the claim that certain types of moral skepticism are incoherent. However, most of the basis for accepting Internalism rests on intuitions that have recently been called into question by empirical work. This paper further investigates the intuitions behind Internalism. Three experiments show not (...)
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    In Defense of Best-Explanation Debunking Arguments in Moral Philosophy.Jonathon Hricko & Derek Leben - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (1):143-160.
    We aim to develop a form of debunking argument according to which an agent’s belief is undermined if the reasons she gives in support of her belief are best explained as rationalizations. This approach is a more sophisticated form of what Shaun Nichols has called best-explanation debunking, which he contrasts with process debunking, i.e., debunking by means of showing that a belief has been generated by an epistemically defective process. In order to develop our approach, we identify an example of (...)
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    Cognitive Neuroscience and Moral Decision-Making: Guide or Set Aside?Derek Leben - 2011 - Neuroethics 4 (2):163-174.
    It is by now a well-supported hypothesis in cognitive neuroscience that there exists a functional network for the moral appraisal of situations. However, there is a surprising disagreement amongst researchers about the significance of this network for moral actions, decisions, and behavior. Some researchers suggest that we should uncover those ethics [that are built into our brains ], identify them, and live more fully by them, while others claim that we should often do the opposite, viewing the cognitive neuroscience of (...)
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    Neoclassical Concepts.Derek Leben - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (1):44-69.
    Linguistic theories of lexical semantics support a Neoclassical Theory of concepts, where entities like CAUSE, STATE, and MANNER serve as necessary conditions for the possession of individual event concepts. Not all concepts have a neoclassical structure, and whether or not words participate in regular linguistic patterns such as verbal alternations will be proposed as a probe for identifying whether their corresponding concepts do indeed have such structure. I show how the Neoclassical Theory supplements existing theories of concepts and supports a (...)
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    Pascal’s Artificial Intelligence Wager.Derek Leben - 2020 - Philosophy Now 139:6-8.
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    Download Robot Ethics Updates: Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, and Ryan Jenkins (Eds.): Robot Ethics 2.0. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 440pp, US$ 41.95 HB.Derek Leben - 2020 - Metascience 29 (3):515-518.
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