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The Machine Question by David J. Gunkel
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The Machine Question

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The Machine Question by David J. Gunkel
Paperback $30.00
Sep 08, 2017 | ISBN 9780262534635

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  • Sep 08, 2017 | ISBN 9780262534635

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  • Jul 13, 2012 | ISBN 9780262304511

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A formidable new book…. Provides a galaxy of challenging thought…. Gunkel does a fine job of lucid and concise exposition.—Peter Hankins, Machines Like Us

Gunkel’s deconstruction is a tour de force that largely succeeds in getting us to ‘think otherwise’. His argument that machines have always been the excluded other is convincing…. Gunkel engages the thinking of both ‘analytic’ and ‘continental’ philosophers, which I believe is a virtue…. The book is an original contribution to the field and likely to have wide reverberations… careful and remarkably comprehensive.

Ethics and Information Technology

There is something right about Gunkel’s recognition that one can hardly consider the questions of machine morality without being led to more fundamental methodological and meta-ethical issues…. He nevertheless succeeded in connecting the ethics of robots and AI to a much broader ethical discussion than has been represented in the literature on machine ethics to date.

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

This controversial and thought-provoking book is a must-read for anyone interested in the philosophy of technology and in discussions on artificial intelligence and ethics of information and communication technology. The unprecedented value of the book is that Gunkel not only analyzes important aspects of the immediate problem but also that he places his discussion in the context of philosophical discussions on such related issues as rights discourse. Maybe some day the moral status of machines will be obvious for all of us, but for the present Gunkel’s book provides an important voice for discussion on the moral status of machines.

International Philosophical Quarterly

From the opening pages, The Machine Question is a delightful melange of graduate philosophy seminars, solemn debates at science fiction conventions, and weighty discussions over drinks in dimly-lit pubs. It is delightful mainly because such diversity of approach, content, and examples is too rarely found in an academic publication…Gunkel’s book is worth reading and will likely find a place in courses dealing with the problems reflected in its title.

Essays in Philosophy

This book is essential reading for philosophers interested in AI, robot ethics, or animal ethics.

AISB Quarterly

Readers would do well to first read David Gunkel’s The Machine Question in order to introduce themselves to the complex field of robot ethics.


Robot Rights is a brilliantly disorienting book.

The Daily Telegraph

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