Why do apparently ‘good’ people sometimes behave deplorably? Christian B Miller, professor of philosophy at Wake Forest University, selects five books that explore the subject of moral character and warns us to be cautious of making inferences about the underlying motives of others – and ourselves.
Heartificial Intelligence: Embracing Our Humanity to Maximize Machines
by John Havens
The Technological Singularity
by Murray Shanahan
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
by Cathy O'Neil
Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong
by Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen
2001: A Space Odyssey
by Arthur C Clarke
Advances in artificial intelligence pose a myriad of ethical questions, but the most incisive thinking on this subject says more about humans than it does about machines, says Paula Boddington, Oxford academic and author of Towards a Code of Ethics for Artificial Intelligence.
Given the choice between allowing five people to die, and killing one person, what would you do? What is the utilitarian argument for vegetarianism? Should we be able to sell our kidneys? The philosopher suggests some answers and picks the best books on ‘ethical problems.’
There are few 18th century French aristocrats with as much name recognition as the Marquis de Sade. His life was an eventful one and his books remain shocking. Will McMorran, Sade’s translator, reflects on the man, his life and his literary works. He recommends the best books by or about the Marquis de Sade.
Adam Smith tends to be seen as the founder of capitalism and modern economics, but he was, first and foremost, a moral philosopher. Dennis Rasmussen, author of The Infidel and the Professor—a book about Smith’s friendship with David Hume—selects the best books by and about Adam Smith.
If killing is wrong, how can going to war be justified? Is it always wrong to kill civilians? If a Nazi soldier were billeted in your home, should you respond when he greets you? Philosopher Cécile Fabre chooses Five Books that help explore the profound ethical dilemmas of war.
The introduction of drones “makes possible perpetual war without costs”, warns the anthropology professor and security expert Hugh Gusterson. Here he selects the best books that examine their ethical, psychological and political impact upon 21st century warfare.