Julian Nida-Rümelin

Agency, technology, and responsibility

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The author presents a philosophical account of the relationship between human agency, technological devices, e.g. autonomous robots, and our concept and criteria of responsibility. He argues that i) an agent is defined by having intentionalities qua giving and taking reasons for her actions, that ii) these reasons are normative, objective, and non-algorithmic, and that thus iii) autonomous robots are not real agents to which responsibility for actions can be ascribed. Therefore, the author sees no need to change the concept of responsibility in the face of autonomous robots. Instead, he considers the criteria of responsibility to have become more complex.


  • Responsibility
  • Reasons
  • Technology/Robotics
  • Agency
  • Intentionality


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