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Ryan Tonkens [22]Ryan S. Tonkens [2]R. Tonkens [2]Review by: Ryan Tonkens [1]
  1. Bridging the Responsibility Gap in Automated Warfare.Marc Champagne & Ryan Tonkens - 2015 - Philosophy and Technology 28 (1):125-137.
    Sparrow argues that military robots capable of making their own decisions would be independent enough to allow us denial for their actions, yet too unlike us to be the targets of meaningful blame or praise—thereby fostering what Matthias has dubbed “the responsibility gap.” We agree with Sparrow that someone must be held responsible for all actions taken in a military conflict. That said, we think Sparrow overlooks the possibility of what we term “blank check” responsibility: A person of sufficiently high (...)
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  2. A challenge for machine ethics.Ryan Tonkens - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (3):421-438.
    That the successful development of fully autonomous artificial moral agents (AMAs) is imminent is becoming the received view within artificial intelligence research and robotics. The discipline of Machines Ethics, whose mandate is to create such ethical robots, is consequently gaining momentum. Although it is often asked whether a given moral framework can be implemented into machines, it is never asked whether it should be. This paper articulates a pressing challenge for Machine Ethics: To identify an ethical framework that is both (...)
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  3. A Comparative Defense of Self-initiated Prospective Moral Answerability for Autonomous Robot harm.Marc Champagne & Ryan Tonkens - 2023 - Science and Engineering Ethics 29 (4):1-26.
    As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated and robots approach autonomous decision-making, debates about how to assign moral responsibility have gained importance, urgency, and sophistication. Answering Stenseke’s (2022a) call for scaffolds that can help us classify views and commitments, we think the current debate space can be represented hierarchically, as answers to key questions. We use the resulting taxonomy of five stances to differentiate—and defend—what is known as the “blank check” proposal. According to this proposal, a person activating a robot could (...)
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  4.  66
    Settling for second best: when should doctors agree to parental demands for suboptimal medical treatment?Tara Nair, Julian Savulescu, Jim Everett, Ryan Tonkens & Dominic Wilkinson - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (12):831-840.
    Background Doctors sometimes encounter parents who object to prescribed treatment for their children, and request suboptimal substitutes be administered instead. Previous studies have focused on parental refusal of treatment and when this should be permitted, but the ethics of requests for suboptimal treatment has not been explored. Methods The paper consists of two parts: an empirical analysis and an ethical analysis. We performed an online survey with a sample of the general public to assess respondents’ thresholds for acceptable harm and (...)
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  5.  21
    The Most Good You Can Do with Your Kidneys: Effective Altruism and the Organ-Shortage Problem.Ryan Tonkens - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (3):350-376.
    Effective altruism is a growing philosophical and social movement, whose members design their lives in ways aligned with doing the most good that they can do. The main focus of this paper is to explore what effective altruism has to say about the moral obligations people have to do good with their organs, in the face of an organ-shortage problem. It is argued that an effective altruism framework offers a number of valuable theoretical and practical insights relevant to ongoing debate (...)
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  6.  48
    Effective altruists ought to be allowed to sell their kidneys.Ryan Tonkens - 2018 - Bioethics 32 (3):147-154.
    Effective altruists aim to do the most good that they can do with the resources available to them, without causing themselves or their dependents significant harm thereby. The argument presented in this paper demonstrates that there are no morally relevant dissimilarities between living kidney donation and living kidney selling for effective altruistic reasons. Thus, since the former is allowed, the latter ought to be allowed as well. And, there are important moral differences between living kidney selling for effective altruistic reasons (...)
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  7.  61
    The case against robotic warfare: A response to Arkin.Ryan Tonkens - 2012 - Journal of Military Ethics 11 (2):149-168.
    Abstract Semi-autonomous robotic weapons are already carving out a role for themselves in modern warfare. Recently, Ronald Arkin has argued that autonomous lethal robotic systems could be more ethical than humans on the battlefield, and that this marks a significant reason in favour of their development and use. Here I offer a critical response to the position advanced by Arkin. Although I am sympathetic to the spirit of the motivation behind Arkin's project and agree that if we decide to develop (...)
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  8.  47
    Parental Wisdom, Empirical Blindness, and Normative Evaluation of Prenatal Genetic Enhancement.R. Tonkens - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (3):274-295.
    The purpose of this paper is to unveil one problem that surrounds the debate over the moral standing of prenatal genetic enhancement (PGE) and to outline a solution to it. The problem is that we have no way to test our speculations about the consequences of prenatal enhancement without begging the question about the moral permissibility of enhancing unborn children. The only way to empirically support our speculations about the consequences of prenatal enhancement is to resort to ethically worrisome (and (...)
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  9.  22
    Mistakes and Kidneys.Ryan Tonkens - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (10):42-44.
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  10.  90
    Should autonomous robots be pacifists?Ryan Tonkens - 2013 - Ethics and Information Technology 15 (2):109-123.
    Currently, the central questions in the philosophical debate surrounding the ethics of automated warfare are (1) Is the development and use of autonomous lethal robotic systems for military purposes consistent with (existing) international laws of war and received just war theory?; and (2) does the creation and use of such machines improve the moral caliber of modern warfare? However, both of these approaches have significant problems, and thus we need to start exploring alternative approaches. In this paper, I ask whether (...)
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  11.  35
    ‘My child will never initiate Ultimate Harm’: an argument against moral enhancement.Ryan Tonkens - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (3):245-251.
  12.  12
    Misusing uteruses? Childrearing capacity and access to transplantable wombs.Ryan Tonkens - 2019 - Bioethics 34 (1):105-113.
    In light of recent successful uterus transplantations, it is reasonable to expect that womb transplants will become more commonplace in the future. If this happens, important questions emerge about who should receive the donated wombs. Some arguments have been advanced that suggest that potential recipients should be screened for their anticipated childrearing capacity, as one component of a comprehensive process for determining eligibility. The main arguments provided in support of this position have to do with the presumed responsibility of the (...)
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  13. Good parents would not fulfil their obligation to genetically enhance their unborn children.R. Tonkens - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (10):606-610.
    The purpose of this paper is to unveil the incompleteness of John Harris' view that parents have a moral obligation to genetically enhance their unborn children. Specifically, here two main conclusions are proposed: (1) at present there exist insufficient empirical data for determining whether prenatal genetic enhancement (PGE) is a moral obligation on prospective parents. Although the purpose of PGE research would be to determine the extent to which PGE is safe and effective, the task of determining the veracity of (...)
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  14.  24
    Feeling Good About the End: Adderall and Moral Enhancement.Ryan Tonkens - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 4 (1):15-16.
  15.  50
    A reply to Cholbi's 'suicide intervention and non-ideal Kantian theory'.Ryan S. Tonkens - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (4):397–407.
    abstract In his ‘Suicide Intervention and Non‐Ideal Kantian Theory’ (2002), Michael J. Cholbi argues that nihilism and hopelessness are often motivating factors behind suicide, contrary to Immanuel Kant's prescribed motive of self‐love. In light of this, Cholbi argues that certain paternalistic modes of intervention may not only be effective in preventing suicide, but are ultimately consistent with Kantian morality. This paper addresses certain perceived shortcomings in Cholbi's account of Kantian suicide intervention. Once the psychological complexities of the suicidal person are (...)
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  16.  5
    Infertilitism: unjustified discrimination of assisted reproduction patients.Ryan Tonkens - 2018 - Monash Bioethics Review 35 (1-4):36-49.
    Current law in Victoria, Australia requires that all prospective assisted reproduction patients provide a criminal background check and child protection order check prior to being eligible for treatment. These presumptions against treatment stipulated in the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act are discriminatory against all people that are infertile. Requiring assistance in founding a family says nothing about whether someone will be a minimally decent parent to their child. The most plausible justifications for this differential treatment of family builders that require assistance (...)
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  17.  16
    Wickedness, Moral Responsibility, and Access to Transplantable Livers.Ryan Tonkens - 2018 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 27 (1):62-74.
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  18.  19
    Organ Donation After Medical Assistance in Dying.Ryan Tonkens - 2023 - In Jaro Kotalik & David Shannon (eds.), Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in Canada: Key Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Springer Verlag. pp. 2147483647-2147483647.
    Here I consider some of the ethical and philosophical issues at the intersection of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) and deceased organ donation (DOD). Three possible objections about inherent aspects of the practice of DOD after MAiD are considered, and rejected. The bulk of the chapter examines recent calls to keep decisions about DOD and MAiD separate, and to clarifying the nature of the ethical concerns underlying effort to protect patients from undue pressure and coercion. Several insights are revealed as (...)
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  19.  33
    Parental Virtue and Prenatal Genetic Alteration Research.Ryan Tonkens - 2015 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (4):651-664.
    Although the philosophical literature on the ethics of human prenatal genetic alteration purports to inform us about how to act, it rarely explicitly recognizes the perspective of those who will be making the PGA decision in practice. Here I approach the ethics of PGA from a distinctly virtue-based perspective, taking seriously what it means to be a good parent making this decision for one’s child. From this perspective, I generate a sound verdict on the moral standing of human PGA : (...)
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  20.  36
    Robots, AI, and Assisted Dying: Ethical and Philosophical Considerations.Ryan Tonkens - 2015 - In Michael Cholbi & Jukka Varelius (eds.), New Directions in the Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 279-298.
    The focus of this chapter is on some of the ethical and philosophical issues at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the health care sector and medical assistance in dying (e.g. physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia), including: (1) Is there a role for robotic systems/AI to play in the orchestration or delivery of assisted dying?; (2) Can the use of robotic systems/AI make the orchestration of assisted dying more ethical?; and (3) What insights can be generated in (...)
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  21. Out of character: on the creation of virtuous machines. [REVIEW]Ryan Tonkens - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (2):137-149.
    The emerging discipline of Machine Ethics is concerned with creating autonomous artificial moral agents that perform ethically significant actions out in the world. Recently, Wallach and Allen (Moral machines: teaching robots right from wrong, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009) and others have argued that a virtue-based moral framework is a promising tool for meeting this end. However, even if we could program autonomous machines to follow a virtue-based moral framework, there are certain pressing ethical issues that need to be taken (...)
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  22.  25
    Murphy, Timothy F.Ryan Tonkens - 2014 - Ethics 124 (2):431-435.
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  23.  40
    Perfect duties in the face of human imperfection: A critical examination of Kant's ethic of suicide.Ryan S. Tonkens - unknown
    The purpose of this work is to offer a critical examination of Immanuel Kant's ethic of suicide. Kant's suicidology marks an influential view regarding the moral stature of suicide, yet one that remains incomplete in important respects. Because Kant's moral views are rationalistic, they restrict moral consideration to rational entities. Many people who commit suicide are not rational at the time of its commission, for they suffer from severe mental illness. Because of this, Kant's suicidology devastatingly excludes certain human demographics (...)
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  24.  10
    The moral unacceptability of abandoning human embryos.Ryan Tonkens - 2016 - Monash Bioethics Review 34 (1):52-69.
    The focus of this paper is on the ethics of the act of wilfully “abandoning” human embryos. I offer a critique of this unique behaviour, which draws on empirical data about who wilfully abandons their surplus embryos and why. I argue that wilful embryo abandonment is in all cases avoidable. Given this, I make three observations which speak to the moral unacceptability of embryo abandonment. The first has to do with the abandoner’s unfair treatment of the clinic storing their abandoned (...)
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  25.  28
    Vulnerable groups and the hollow promise of benefit from human gene editing.Ryan Tonkens - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (6):574-580.
    Mainstream academic debate on the ethics of human gene editing is currently not as inclusive as it should be. For example, it currently does not give due consideration to Indigenous groups and cultures, such as those living in rural and remote areas of Canada. Once such people are given due consideration, then several important points emerge, which have so far gone unnoticed or under‐emphasized in the debate. This article focuses on two of those points: (a) Some vulnerable people who are (...)
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  26.  18
    Review: Timothy F. Murphy, Ethics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about Children. [REVIEW]Ryan Tonkens - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
  27.  12
    Review: Timothy F. Murphy, Ethics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about Children. [REVIEW]Review by: Ryan Tonkens - 2014 - Ethics 124 (2):431-435,.