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The Ethics of Information$
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Luciano Floridi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641321.001.0001

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Artificial evil

Artificial evil

(p.180) 9 Artificial evil
The Ethics of Information

Luciano Floridi

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, I support the expansion of our taxonomy of evil. Moral reasoning traditionally distinguishes between two types of evil: moral (ME) and natural (NE). The standard view is that ME is the product of human agency, and so includes phenomena such as war, torture and psychological cruelty; that NE is the product of non-human agency, and so includes natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, disease, and famine; and, finally, that more complex cases are appropriately analysed as a combination of ME and NE. I argue that, as a result of developments in autonomous agents, a new class of interesting and important examples of hybrid evil has come to light. I define it as artificial evil (AE) and defend the view that AE complements ME and NE to produce a more adequate mapping of the phenomenon and concept of evil.

Keywords:   evil, nonsubstantialism, theodicean problem, artificial evil

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