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Ryan Tonkens [16]Ryan S. Tonkens [2]
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Ryan Tonkens
Dalhousie University
  1. 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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  2.  22
    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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  3. 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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  4.  64
    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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  5.  73
    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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  6.  41
    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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  7.  32
    A Reply to Cholbi's 'Suicide Intervention and Non-Ideal Kantian Theory'.Ryan S. Tonkens - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (4):397–407.
  8.  3
    Misusing Uteruses? Childrearing Capacity and Access to Transplantable Wombs.Ryan Tonkens - 2020 - Bioethics 34 (1):105-113.
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  9.  9
    Feeling Good About the End: Adderall and Moral Enhancement.Ryan Tonkens - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 4 (1):15-16.
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  10.  12
    Mistakes and Kidneys.Ryan Tonkens - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (10):42-44.
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  11.  10
    Wickedness, Moral Responsibility, and Access to Transplantable Livers.Ryan Tonkens - 2018 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 27 (1):62-74.
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  12.  24
    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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  13.  21
    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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  14.  16
    Murphy, Timothy F.Ryan Tonkens - 2014 - Ethics 124 (2):431-435.
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  15.  15
    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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  16.  4
    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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  17.  13
    Review: Timothy F. Murphy, Ethics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices About Children. [REVIEW]Ryan Tonkens - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
  18. 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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