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Robots, emotions, and epistemic rational assessability

ERI 149
Wednesday 5 December 2018 (15:15-17:00)

Philosophy PGR seminar series 2018/19

  • Speaker: Matilde Aliffi and Helen Ryland
  • Title: Robots, emotions, and epistemic rational assessability

The Philosophy department's PGR seminar is an opportunity for postgraduate research students at Birmingham to present the material they are working on to the department's staff and other students. The seminar meets roughly on fortnightly Wednesdays from 15:15 to 17:00 in the ERI. All welcome!


There is a current lack of philosophical research on whether robots could have emotions. In this talk, we argue that the idea that a robot could have emotions is more plausible than currently assumed. We will demonstrate this by giving examples of robots that appear to have some of the emotional components that are usually involved in human emotional experiences. This opens up new philosophical questions specifically about the rational status of these robots’ emotions. We claim that if a robot can have emotions, or “robot-like emotions”, then these emotions may be open to epistemic rational assessment.

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