Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Call For Papers: Robotics: War and Peace

Special Issue of Philosophy and Technology
Editor-in-Chief: Luciano Floridi
Call for Papers on
Robotics: War and Peace
Guest Editor: John P. Sullins
Closing date for submissions: January 9th, 2011

The topic. Two of the most philosophically interesting aspects of robotics technology are their use in military applications, and as engineered companions and helpers in the home. Military technology is going through a change that is as significant as the advent of gunpowder, or nuclear weapons. Robotics has made great advances in the last decade due mostly to research and development funded by various militaries around the world. The resulting systems stand to change every aspect of war and peacekeeping. At the other end of the spectrum, robots are being engineered to care for the elderly and provide love and companionship for the lonely. This special issue will be devoted to exploring the constellation of philosophical issues that revolve around the roll of robots in war and peace.

The special issue. We are interested in high quality papers that research not only the how of robotics, but also answer the tough questions of why we should, or should not, deploy these systems in our homes and battlefields. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following: How does the growing use of telerobotic weapons systems affect the future of peaceful relations? Should autonomous weapons be deployed to the modern battlefield? Can the values of just war be advanced thorough robotics? Is it feasible or desirable to build peace keeping robots? How do robotic weapons systems change the roll of the human warrior? How can we program warrior virtues into a machine? Do drones contribute to a more or less stable world? What changes need to be made to modern thinking on the rules of war given the rapid growth of autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons systems? How doe drones change the public understanding of war and piece? What values are driving the raise of robotic casualty care systems? How does one engineer ethical rules in robotic weapons and love or companionship in artificial agents? What philosophical values are driving the development of elder care robots? What ethical norms should inform the design of companion robots? Can philosophically interesting relations occur between humans and machines? Is Eros a robot? What are the sexual politics and gender issues involved in building robotic love dolls?

We are particularly interested in papers that not only critique, but suggest ways to move forward on one of the most important issues confronting the philosophy of technology today.

Due Dates. Given the pace at which robotic technology is developing, we have adopted a very tight schedule for this issue. Initial submissions for review must be uploaded to the journal editorial management system by January 9th, 2011 with revised papers uploaded for final review in March 2011. This special issue will be published in July 2011 (3rd issue of Philosophy & Technology).

Submissions will be taken through the journal’s website:

For further information please write to the guest editor: Professor John Sullins

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