Please join us for the virtual launch of Josh Gellers‘ new book, Rights for Robots: Artifical Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law, on Friday, 13 November 2020 from 10am-11am NY time. To attend, register in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Attendees will be given a special code redeemable for 20% off the price of the hardback version of the book.
The book is now available for free via Open Access here.
Here is a synopsis of the book:
Two trends are set on a collision course—the creation of human-like robots and the movement to extend rights to nonhuman entities like animals and nature. In addition, humanity presently faces two existential crises—the rise of automation and the threat of global climate change. These macro-level trends lead to an important philosophical and legal question—can robots have rights? The book seeks to respond to this inquiry by drawing upon lessons from the theory and practice of animal rights and the rights of nature, and relying on insights provided by critical environmental law, New Materialism, Indigenous and other non-Western ontologies, and writings on law in the Anthropocene. Through the ensuing analysis I clarify the tangled relationship between moral and legal rights, develop a framework for assessing personhood(s), and advance a critical environmental ethic that specifies the universe of entities worthy of moral and legal concern. I demonstrate how the framework and ethic can be applied to two hypothetical situations involving real-world technology—zoomorphic robot companions and anthropomorphic sex robots. In closing, I suggest that if we wish to create a more inclusive, compassionate, and resilient world, robots can indeed have rights.